TSN TV Schedule TSN2 TV Schedule
MLB

Gibson wins major league debut as Twins beat Royals

{eot}
The Canadian Press
6/29/2013 7:35:50 PM
Decrease Text SizeIncrease Text Size
Text Size

MINNEAPOLIS -- Kyle Gibson wasn't dominant in his first major league start, but he still pitched well enough to make a bit of Minnesota Twins history and give the team a reason to be optimistic about the future of its pitching staff.

Four years after being Minnesota's top pick in the 2009 draft, Gibson pitched six solid innings, and Trevor Plouffe homered to help the Twins beat the Kansas City Royals 6-2 on Saturday.

The long road from draft day to starting pitcher included a Tommy John-surgery detour, but it ultimately ended with Gibson becoming Minnesota's first first-round pick to win a start in his major league debut.

He did it in front of about 30 family members and friends.

"It was an amazing day, really," Gibson said. "I was pretty nervous the last couple of days leading up to it, and was able to calm the nerves somehow. I think seeing a couple of familiar faces before I started throwing, and a little prayer before the game definitely helped me calm my nerves, but it was a great day."

Gibson (1-0) allowed two runs and eight hits, and he struck out five. He allowed two runs in the third inning on RBI singles by Alcides Escobar and Salvador Perez, and he hit Escobar in the fifth. But he worked out of several jams and recorded his first 1-2-3 inning in the sixth thanks to some nice defence by Pedro Florimon at short.

"We've been waiting for this for a while, and I'm sure he has, too," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Going through the elbow thing, and all the rehab and all the hard work that he's put in, it's a big moment. A big moment for him."

Gibson had plenty of early help as Minnesota scored five in the first inning. Wade Davis (4-6) was yanked after giving up another run in the second with no one out. The one-inning outing marked Davis' shortest outing of the season for the Royals, who have lost seven of 10.

"Never," Davis said when asked if he'd ever had a similar outing. "Not that short, anyways. Just frustrating to look back and look how that played out."

On Friday night, the Royals hit a season-high four homers against the Twins. They couldn't muster much of anything against Gibson through six innings, or against relievers Brian Duensing, Casey Fien or Glen Perkins.

Kansas City loaded the bases with one out against Fien in the eighth, but Lorenzo Cain and Miguel Tejada both struck out swinging.

"We got kind of put in a hole early there," first baseman Eric Hosmer said. "We were trying to inch back, and inch back. Just fell short."

Gibson's long-awaited arrival to the Twins' rotation came this week after starter Mike Pelfrey was placed on the disabled list because of a strained back. He received the loudest cheers during pregame introductions, and he delighted the crowd by striking out slugger Billy Butler to end the first inning.

"I think everybody in this room knows that feeling the first day that they step out there, nerves are going, but he handled it about as good as you could," catcher Joe Mauer said.

Minnesota had been outscored 74-39 in the first inning this season, but the Twins pounced right away on Davis, who gave up a two-run double to Justin Morneau and a two-run homer to Plouffe.

Florimon's RBI-single made it 5-0, and Gibson calmly handled the Royals lineup the rest of the way with pitches that consistently reached into the 90-mph range.

"You hear a lot about him, and he's got great makeup and great pitches, and he's going to be good one," Mauer said.

NOTES: The Royals designated OF Jeff Francoeur for assignment after the game to make room for 2B Johnny Giavotella, who was called up from Triple-A Omaha. . Davis had been 3-0 in eight career appearances against the Twins. ... It took Davis 53 pitches to get through the first inning. It was the most first-inning pitches by a major-league starting pitcher since Wandy Rodrigues threw 55 on Aug. 1, 2007, at Atlanta for Houston. Davis threw 69 before being relieved by Will Smith in the second. "He fought his command. His stuff was OK, but he just didn't locate. I've never seen a 50-pitch inning," Royals manager Ned Yost said. . Plouffe stretched his hitting streak to 11 games, the second longest of his career. His highest is a 17-games spurt from June 30-July 19, 2012. ... Gibson is the eighth rookie used by the Twins this season. ... The Twins will go for the series win on Sunday when they send right-hander Kevin Correia (6-5) to the mound. The Royals counter with Ervin Santana (5-5).

Kyle Gibson  (Photo: The Canadian Press)

zoom

(Photo: The Canadian Press)
Share This

Share This

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to FarkAdd to TwitterAdd to Stumble UponAdd to Reddit
Print this Story



Canadians in MLB

Canadians in the Majors

Take a look at the early-season results from all of Canada's Major League representatives. More...

The Boys of Summer

MLB Preview 2014

It's time for another season of Major League Baseball. Get primed for 2014 with previews for all 30 teams including Scott MacArthur's look at what to expect from the Toronto Blue Jays.


American League: East | Central | West
National League: East | Central | West
Toronto Blue Jays

Free Agency: American League | National League

Podcasts

TSN 1050: The Bryan Hayes Show: April 18 - Scott MacArthur

TSN 1050 Blue Jays Reporter Scott MacArthur discussed the embarrassing loss that the Blue Jays experienced against the Twins.

TSN 690 - Melnick in the Afternoon - Orlando Cabrera - April 10th

Mitch, Rod and Gallo welcome former Montreal Expo shortstop and 2004 World Series Champion Orlando Cabrera to the show.

TSN: Blue Jays Report with Scott MacArthur: April 9 - Opening Edition

In the Opening Edition of the Podcast, Scott MacArthur, Richard Griffin (Toronto Star) and Gregor Chisholm (MLB.com) discuss Toronto Blue Jays.


More Podcasts

© 2014
All rights reserved.
Bell Media Television