– Gaining weight is hard when you are coming off E. coli while working a profession in which keeping weight on can be difficult.

Twins righthander Kyle Gibson is learning this as he had eased into his progression toward the opening week of spring training games. Listed at 216 pounds, Gibson said he lost around 15 pounds after battling E. coli in January.

Instead of pitching in games, he has been on a strength program to help him gain weight. And, because his stomach was under siege just a couple of months ago, he’s being careful about what he’s eating too.

“It’s difficult,” said Gibson, who weighs around 205 now. “I’m trying to eat a little bit healthier and eat things that are a little bit easier on my stomach. I’ve never really been a guy that can gain weight when I eat healthy so it’s been a little bit more difficult but so far it’s been going well.

“I haven’t lost weight since spring training started, so that’s good. But it’s just about adding in snacks, adding in little meals here and there to keep your body from getting overly hungry.”

Gibson, who went 10-13 with a 3.62 ERA in 32 starts last season, made enough progress to return to the mound Monday, when he threw two scoreless innings during the Twins’ 9-4 loss to Baltimore at Hammond Stadium. He had the right feel for all of his pitches, and a handful of fastballs hit 94 miles per hour on the radar gun.

C.J. Cron hit two home runs for the Twins, a solo shot in the first and a two-run blast in the third, and Jordany Valdespin homered in the ninth. But Baltimore cruised behind a grand slam by Renato Nunez in the third off Addison Reed and a three-run homer by Martin Cervenka in the ninth off Tyler Duffey.