The Associated Press
MINNEAPOLIS — Kyle Gibson continued his career mastery of the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday in the Minnesota Twin’s 3-1 victory.
The Twins’ right-hander and Greenfield-Central graduate used 12 groundball outs and three strikeouts to keep the highest-scoring team in the majors quiet for a night. The Royals (7-1) were chasing the 2003 team’s 9-0 start as the best in franchise history, but Gibson pitched into the seventh inning and Oswaldo Arcia hit a two-run homer for the Twins to beat the Royals, MLB’s lone remaining undefeated team heading into the evening.
“I think they knew they were going to lose at some point,” Gibson said. “It was nice for us. Getting a win like that for us was hopefully some good momentum.”
The Twins (2-6) sure needed it. They went 1-8 to begin the 1994 season, the only other time in the club’s 55-year history they started with seven losses in their first eight games. But Brian Duensing and Casey Fien backed up Gibson when manager Paul Molitor went to the bullpen, and Glen Perkins pitched a perfect ninth for his first save.
Alcides Escobar had three of the nine hits against Gibson and Alex Gordon drove in a run with a two-out single in the fourth inning, but the 27-year-old didn’t walk anybody after issuing five free passes in his first start. He had his sinker, changeup and slider all working well.
“If I can limit ’em to singles and allow the defense to do some work behind me, that’s going to be big for me,” Gibson said.
Gibson, who failed to finish the fourth at Detroit last week, improved to 4-0 in four career starts with a 1.38 ERA against Kansas City.
“He’s always pitched well against us. Tonight he was on,” said Royals manager Ned Yost.
The Royals will have to face Gibson again Monday.
The Twins host Cleveland today to begin a three-game series, then Gibson is scheduled to start at 8:10 p.m. Monday to open a three-game series at Kansas City.
Here is Gibson’s pitching line against Kansas City on Wednesday, and for the young season.