Some days, everything just looks incredible. The Twins had one of those afternoons, and in particular Danny Santana and Kyle Gibson had themselves a game. Gibson threw seven shutout innings, while Santana was 4-for-5 with five runs batted in.
Gibson mixed up his pitches well. He was almost exclusively fastball-slider in the first inning, dropping in just one changeup, but from the second inning on he introduced the change and his four-seamer more consistently. The four pitch mix did a nice job of keeping the Astros from getting too comfortable, and for the most part Gibson hit his spots. He very rarely made a mistake, and when he did Houston wasn't able to capitalize for anything worse mentioning.
He struck out five, four in the first two innings, and didn't allow a hit after the third inning. The Astros didn't get a runner past second base until Jared Burton was on the hill in the eighth, but even then Burton was able to get himself out of it and keep Houston off the board.
The day that was had by Danny Santana, thought...wow. By the second inning, Scott Feldman was so erratic that the Twins didn't need to log hits to put runners on base. Feldman drilled Josh Willingham to lead off the inning, Trevor Plouffe reached on a fielding error, and Kurt Suzuki coaxed a one out walk to load the bases. The Twins scored when an Aaron Hicks dribbler was dropped behind second base by Marwn Gonzalez, and then Santana came through with a two-run single. Santana then stole second base and Brian Dozier walked, but for that frame, at least, the Astros stopped the bleeding at 3-0.
Santana drilled another one out single in the fifth to score two more, this time off of Paul Clemens. Josh Willingham laced a single and Chris Parmelee walked later in the inning, adding two more runs. Santana's seventh-inning single and fourth hit of the day drove in Minnesota's eighth run, capping the scoring.
Gibson was just impressive for most of the afternoon. He's been good at home all year, but he was hitting his spots and was agile off the mound on multiple occasions today. His ERA is down to 3.91 on the season.
- Prior to Escobar's first two-run single, a nearly passed ball bounced off both feet of home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez. Jason Castro couldn't get a mitt on the ball, it bounced off the inside of Marquez's right foot, and then his right foot. If the ball had missed either foot the Twins would have had a run off of it, but as things turned out it didn't matter.
- Brian Dozier made multiple impressive plays in the field today.
- So did Aaron Hicks, who made a brilliant diving catch to end the game.
- Speaking of Hicks, he could have been given a hit in the second inning. While Gonzalez certainly bobbled the ball, he'd already had to move so far to his left that he was behind second base. And the ball wasn't moving particularly quickly. Even if he had fielded the ball cleanly, there was no play at second base (Jose Altuve had also made a play for the ball), and I think Hicks would have been safe at first regardless.
NOBODY TWINS WIN HAPPY SATURDAY