For a moment tonight — seven and two-thirds innings’ worth of moments, in fact — it looked as though the Minnesota Twins might be pulling off some early-season history. The Twins’ attempt at a combined no-hitter was broken by Jonathan Schoop with two outs in the bottom of the eighth, but the damage had already been done: an encouraging performance from Kyle Gibson and a plethora of homers by the offense led the squad to a 6-2 win over the Orioles on Saturday night in Baltimore.
The Twins got off to the races early, with Miguel Sano blasting a first-inning homer into the left-field bleachers, his first round-tripper of the young campaign. Two innings later, nine-hole hitter Jason Castro corked a big fly of his own, and Sano drove in his second run of the night with a groundout.
Minnesota scored again in the 4th and again in the 5th; first, Max Kepler launched the team’s third jack of the night. The next inning, Sano plated his third runner (hold the RBI) on a 6-4-3 that scored Brian Dozier. Make it 6-0 Twins when Dozier scored again on a Joe Mauer single two frames later.
Meanwhile, Good Gibson decided to take the mound tonight. Good Gibby, as you may have gleaned from the title, is a bad, bad, man, in the Michael Jackson, certified-diamond, produced-by-Quincy-Jones kind of way. He had some pretty suspect control issues; five walks in six innings isn’t exactly stellar, but I’m all right with chalking that up to the fact that it was his first start of the season, and we’re still on the wrong side of April. Gibson only walked five batters once all last season, so let’s hope he was just getting that performance out of the way early.
What he was doing right was inducing weaker contact and picking up some strikeouts. Gibson went six innings and fanned as many O’s hitters without allowing a single hit all night. The highlight of his hitless performance was Eddie Rosario’s tumbling, juggling catch that saw the baseball pop right out of the left fielder’s glove, only to land in his bare right hand.
Ryan Pressly struck out three in two scoreless innings, allowing the game’s first hit, and giving way to Gabriel Moya, who allowed Baltimore’s only runs on a Tim Beckham two-run shot with one out in the 9th. The Orioles went quietly after that, and the Twins locked up their first win of the 2018 season, with an eye on taking the series tomorrow afternoon.
It’ll be Jose Berrios taking on Kevin Gausman in Sunday’s finale. Tune in at 12:05 local time tomorrow!
2B Brian Dozier (2-for-3, 2 R, BB)
1B Joe Mauer (2-for-4, BB, RBI)
3B Miguel Sano (1-for-4, R, HR, 2 RBI)
RF Max Kepler (2-for-3, R, BB, RBI)
SP Kyle Gibson (6.0 IP, 0 H, 5 BB, 6 K)
RP Ryan Pressly (2.0 IP, 1 H, BB, 3 K)
No duds! Twins win! Twins win!
ROBOT ROLL CALL:
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