Wow is it good to watch the Twins win. As miserable as this last week has been, something as simple as a single win can just make you feel so much better.
Kyle Gibson was as good as could be expected, allowing nine hits over six and two thirds while striking out three and not issuing a walk. Of the 12 outs that the Royals put in play, ten were on the ground. This was Gibson at his best, and he was pretty efficient as well - throwing 109 pitches and nearly completing seven innings.
Gibson's slider was particularly effective, with six of his eight whiffs coming off of the pitch. But the fastball velocity was consistent all night, and apart from two or three pitches he did a very good job of keeping the ball low and working both sides of the plate. Other than hitting Kendrys Morales in the fourth, which led to Kansas City's only run of the game, Gibson was in control until the seventh. A couple of well-struck balls led to a two-on, two-out situation, but Brian Duensing made one pitch to get out of it.
The offensive hero of the game was Oswaldo Arcia, who took a fat Edinson Volquez fastball and smashed it over the wall in right-center field for a two-run blast in the bottom of the fourth. That put the game at 3-1, our final score. After Duensing's one-pitch out in the seventh, Casey Fien and Glen Perkins combined to close the game out.
Paul Molitor made a lineup change, flipping Brian Dozier and Torii Hunter in the two and cleanup spots. Whether this was a one-game opportunity or something that Molitor might roll with for a few days is unclear, but Dozier's sac fly in the first brought in the game's first run and Hunter reached on a single and a walk.Hunter spent most of his time in Detroit hitting second, so it's something he's familiar with.
Contact continues to be an issue for the Twins, who managed just four singles and a walk in addition to Arcia's homer. They struck out seven times, giving the team 63 through eight games in comparison to just 17 walks. There's a trend in baseball where strikouts are on the rise and hits are on the decline, and the Twins are certainly helping that ratio along.
At any rate, a win is a win. Minnesota climbs to 2-6, just a game behind Cleveland for fourth place. Silver linings are all relative.
NOBODY, TWINS WIN, WOO!