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Kyle Gibson, Twins take down Chris Sale, White Sox

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Twins secure another series victory behind a fantastic full-team performance.

Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Gibson was fantastic this afternoon. He seemed to get stronger as the afternoon wore on in Chicago, with just one of his seven strikeouts coming in the first four innings. As the Twins' lead grew, the White Sox became more aggressive, and Gibson feasted.

Chris Sale came into today's game with a 6.30 ERA against the Twins in five starts this season, and somehow he left it worse off. Minnesota struck him for nine hits through three innings, scoring six runs. Sale exits 2015 with a 7.37 ERA in 33 innings versus the Twins.

Minnesota's runs came early and often. Aaron Hicks singled to lead off the game and later scored on Miguel Sano's line drive single to center field. Trevor Plouffe tallied the third single of the inning, setting the stage for a pretty epic battle between Sale and Torii Hunter. In a ten-pitch at-bat, Hunter fouled off seven pitches before turning on a 96mph fastball and dropping it into the seats in left-center field for a three-run shot. It was Hunter's 19th home run of the season, the 350th home run of his career, and his 211th homer as a member of the Minnesota Twins.

Hunter, who passed Kirby Puckett for fifth place for career home runs with the Twins when he passed Kirby Puckett at 207, is still nine short of Tony Oliva at 220. For the foreseeable future, that's where Hunter will remain. It's not a bad place to be, either.

The Twins added two more in the third off of back-to-back RBI singles from Hunter and Eddie Rosario. Joe Mauer's bases-loaded single in the sixth brought home one more, closing the book on Minnesota's scoring.

Gibson's line saw him go seven and two thirds while striking out seven, walking one, and giving up five hits. All while putting a beautiful goose egg on the scoreboard.

Minnesota finishes 2015 with a 13-6 record versus the White Sox. In the big picture the win gives them yet another series victory, their second in a row and seventh in their last eight, and pushes them to a 74-68 record overall. They remain one game back of the Rangers, who won this afternoon and took two of three from Oakland, and it moves the Twins back to two games in front of the Angels, who lost to Houston.

Beating the White Sox 13 times this year is super great. But now the Twins enter their penultimate home stand of the season, getting three with Detroit, a crucial four-game set versus the Angels, a day off, and then three games hosting Cleveland. Let's see if Minnesota can go to work at maybe win six or seven of these games.

ROLL CALL!

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COMMENT OF THE GAME THREAD

twinsgirl197: "that's not an acronym, hun...."

STUDS

Kyle Gibson
Torii Hunter

DUDS

Chris Sale