The Associated Press
MINNEAPOLIS — One run was plenty for Kyle Gibson on Friday night.
The Greenfield-Central graduate pitched eight strong innings, Kennys Vargas scored on a wild pitch, and the Minnesota Twins beat the Chicago White Sox 1-0.
Glen Perkins pitched a tense ninth inning for his seventh save to give the Twins their fifth win in seven games. Chicago had runners on second and third with two outs in its last at-bat, but Tyler Flowers struck out looking.
Gibson (2-2) gave up just four hits, struck out four and walked one. After a rough first start of the season where he gave up six earned runs in 3.2 innings, Gibson has posted a 2.03 ERA over his last four outings, allowing just six earned runs in 26.2 innings.
“There’s times where when I execute I’m pretty confident,” said the right-hander, who threw eight shutout innings for just the second time in his major-league career.
Torii Hunter added: “I definitely think he’s probably the No. 1 guy right now.”
Vargas and Shane Robinson led off with singles and were on second and third with two outs when White Sox starter Jose Quintana threw a pitch in the dirt on a 1-2 count to Hunter allowing Vargas — listed at 6-foot-5 and 289 pounds in the media guide — to rumble in from third base standing up.
In the top of the inning, Hunter made a catch before crashing into the wall to rob leadoff hitter Conor Gillaspie and, after a single by Flowers, Joe Mauer dove to his right to start a force play at second base.
“Torii’s catch was important mainly because starting off an inning with a guy on second before there’s one out is a big difference,” Gibson said.
Chicago had the bases loaded and one out in the second, but Flowers grounded into a double play.
Minnesota loaded the bases with one out in the fourth, but Kurt Suzuki struck out on a check-swing that would have been ball four. Eduardo Escobar then hit a ground ball deep in the hole at short.
Alexei Ramirez’s throw to first was ruled late on the field, but video review showed the throw beat Escobar to the bag for the third out.
Next up: Gibson will look to push his record above .500 Wednesday, at home, against the Oakland Athletics. The former Cougar has faced the A’s only once in his brief career, when he surrendered five runs in five innings last August.
It also will be Gibson’s second start in May, a month which historically has served him well. Gibson owns a 3.09 ERA in the month versus his career ERA of 4.76.
The Minnesota Twins’ Kyle Gibson pitched eight innings of scoreless baseball against the Chicago White Sox on Friday. Here is the Greenfield-Central graduate’s pitching line against Chicago, as well as his stats four starts into the season.