CLEVELAND – Trevor Larnach arrived at Progressive Field in a good mood on Friday, determined to snap out of his weeklong slump and happy to find himself in the Twins lineup.

"There are plenty of good swings in there," Larnach said of his 4-for-26 week, which included 15 strikeouts, the past seven in a row. "Everyone goes through it. I'm not down in the depths at all. It's more like working to figure out the equation to get back."

A few minutes later, Larnach learned he will do that figuring at Class AAA St. Paul. In a surprise move that likely had more to do with his replacement than Larnach, the third-year outfielder was sent back to Class AAA. Fellow former first-round pick Alex Kirilloff, who has hit .316 with three homers in 10 games with the Saints, was called up Friday, too late to arrive in time for the series opener vs. the Guardians.

"You hope that he can give you a jolt, give the lineup a jolt," manager Rocco Baldelli said of a Twins lineup that has produced a measly 16 hits during the first four games of this road trip. "He's going to get right in there and contribute."

The moves were only two of the Twins' five transactions on Friday, each of them in effect triggered by the pain lefthander Caleb Thielbar has been feeling in his right oblique. When the reliever was still feeling soreness after a pregame workout, the Twins decided to place him on the 15-day injured list.

"It's nothing bad, but not worth taking a risk," Thielbar said. "Guys who had strained obliques in spring training are just now getting back."

Righthander Dereck Rodríguez was already on the way to Cleveland, because the bullpen needed another arm after handling 12 innings in the three games vs. the White Sox. Had Thielbar been healthy, another reliever would have been sent to St. Paul.

But Thielbar's IL stint gave the Twins an opportunity to promote Kirilloff, too. Kirilloff, who opened the season on the injured list as his surgically repaired right wrist healed, was formally optioned to St. Paul on Monday, and MLB rules required him to remain there at least 10 days. But that requirement is waived if he replaces an injured player, so Kirilloff's promotion was tied to Thielbar's injury.

In order to have Rodríguez available for Friday's game, and to comply with MLB's 13-pitcher roster limit, the Twins had to demote Larnach. The Twins bench was short a player, but better than shorting the bullpen, Baldelli figured.

"This is such a hard game, and it's so humbling," Larnach, a frequent cleanup hitter who remains tied for the team lead with 19 RBI, had said somewhat presciently just a short time before his demotion. "That's why, when guys find it and really go off, like [Byron] Buxton is right now, it's so rewarding. You just have to savor it."

Mahle out two months

One more move was necessary to make all the other pieces fit, too, because Rodríguez was not on the 40-man roster. The team made room by shifting fellow righthander Tyler Mahle from the 15-day to the 60-day injured list.

The move is an admission that Mahle, who won't attempt to throw again for at least four weeks, is certain to miss at least two months because of the elbow discomfort he felt in his April 27 start.

"That's a pretty easy way of looking at it," Baldelli said. "Bare minimum, [if] he's not throwing for a month, there's no chance he's starting a game within four weeks of picking up a ball."

Mahle is seeking a second opinion on his condition, technically a posterior impingement and a flexor pronator strain. Surgery has not been ruled out.

"There are several options in front of him," Baldelli said, "but we have no feel for what's going to happen yet."

Saints suspended

The Saints and Nashville were suspended after 2½ innings at CHS Field on Friday, with the Sounds leading 3-2. The game will resume at noon Saturday and be a nine-inning game; the regularly scheduled game will follow and be for seven innings.