Gibson, Twins stymie Royals
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Minnesota Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson regained his mastery over the Kansas City Royals during a 2-0 victory Thursday night. The first-place Royals lost their four straight, matching their season high, while the second-place...
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Minnesota Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson regained his mastery over the Kansas City Royals during a 2-0 victory Thursday night.
The first-place Royals lost their four straight, matching their season high, while the second-place Twins inched within 3 1/2 games of the lead in the American League Central.
Gibson (6-6) limited the Royals to four hits, all singles, over eight innings. He walked four and struck out seven.
Gibson won his first four starts against Kansas City but lost the past two before Thursday. In the two-game skid, he gave up nine runs (seven earned), which was five more than allowed in his first four starts against the Royals.
Gibson’s five victories against Kansas City are the most against any club.
Center fielder Danny Santana’s RBI triple in the fifth inning knocked in the game’s first run. It was Santana’s first extra-base hit since May 20.
The Twins added a run in the ninth when shortstop Eduardo Escobar’s triple scored pinch runner Shane Robinson.
Gibson faced some eighth-inning rigors. Second baseman Omar Infante hit a leadoff single. Jarrod Dyson ran for Infante and stole second base, his ninth swipe in 10 attempts, but that was as far as Dyson would go. After walking third baseman Mike Moustakas with one out, Gibson struck out center fielder Lorenzo Cain and retired first baseman Eric Hosmer on a groundout.
Glen Perkins worked the ninth, converting his 26th consecutive save opportunity.
Royals right-hander Chris Young was removed after 5 1/3 innings and 90 pitches. He allowed six hits, three for extra bases, walked one and uncorked three wild pitches, but he yielded just one run.
Twins first baseman Joe Mauer singled to lead off the sixth, moved up on a wild pitch, and third baseman Trevor Plouffe bunted him to third. Left-hander Franklin Morales replaced Young, and he struck out left fielder Eddie Rosario and designated hitter Miguel Sano, who was making his major league debut, to end the inning.
The Twins broke out on top 1-0 with a fifth-inning run. Catcher Kurt Suzuki opened the inning with a double, moved to second on shortstop Eduardo Escobar’s sacrifice bunt and scored on Santana’s triple to the left-center gap that rolled to the fence.
The Royals loaded the bases on two singles - one of them a bunt by Hosmer - and a walk in the fourth, but Gibson pitched out of danger when catcher Salvador Perez looked at a called third strike to end the inning.
Notes: Royals LHP Jason Vargas, who is on the disabled list with a left flexor strain, threw a 40-pitch simulated game. ... 1B Eric Hosmer returned to the Royals’ lineup after missing three games in Houston with a sprained right ring finger. ... RHP Ervin Santana, who was suspended the first 80 games after testing positive for performance enhancing drugs, will make his Twins debut Sunday, starting against the Royals. Santana pitched in 2014 for Kansas City. ... The Royals opened an 11-game homestand after having only 11 home games since May 25. They played 16 of their past 21 games on the road.