MINNEAPOLIS — For the second time since the Major League Baseball All-Star break, Greenfield’s Kyle Gibson couldn’t avoid the big inning.
For the New York Yankees, however, the Greenfield native’s misfortune Sunday turned a rough start to their series in Minnesota into a sixth straight series win.
Nathan Eovaldi of the Yankees pitched impressively into the ninth inning, Chase Headley and Stephen Drew each homered, and the AL East-leading Yankees beat the Twins 7-2 on Sunday.
After being outscored 15-1 in the first 12 innings of the three-game series — including a 10-1 Twins win on Friday night, followed by a 5-0 deficit on Saturday — the Yankees returned the favor by outscoring the Twins 15-2 during the final 15 innings.
The Twins, meanwhile, were left reeling with a 3-6 record since the All-Star break.
‘’You get the first game and you get a little greedy,’’ Twins manager Paul Molitor said. ‘’We let one slip away (Saturday), and sometimes those things carry over somewhat. So you take your medicine, you lose the series and you move on.’’
Against Eovaldi (10-2), the Twins didn’t look anything like the team that routed the Yankees 48 hours early.
Eovaldi had only five strikeouts, but looked dominant nonetheless, easily topping 90 mph in the later innings and inducing Twins batters into harmless grounders and popups in reaching double-digit wins for the first time.
‘’He was almost able to give our bullpen a whole day off, which was really nice,’’ Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
The right-hander, who hasn’t lost a start since June 16 at Miami, allowed eight hits and a walk. He came out to start the ninth but was quickly pulled after giving up a leadoff double to Miguel Sano.
On the other side, Gibson limited the Yankees to one run until the top of the sixth when things began to unravel.
Headley had two big hits against Kyle Gibson (8-8) — the first a solo homer in the fifth that made it 1-all, and then a two-run single the next inning that knocked the Twins starter out of the game.
Gibson lost his command in a six-run sixth at Target Field, allowing a leadoff single to Brett Gardner before walking both Mark Teixeira and Brian McCann.
Throwing eight of nine pitches out of the strike zone to the latter two, Gibson rebounded by striking out Carlos Beltran, and the hope for the Twins was that the righty, who possesses a good sinker, could induce a double play to limit the damage.
“I felt like I was able to put myself in a situation where I can make one pitch and get out of it. I just never really made that pitch,” Gibson told MLB.com reporter Betsy Helfand. “I thought in the situation that I had made the pitch.”
“Really kind of turned what I felt like was going to be a pretty decent day into a pretty sour day,” Gibson said in his MLB.com interview. “Kind of happened quickly. It’s unfortunate for the team because we had a chance there to battle back in the last couple innings, and unfortunately I put it out of reach.”
Two batters later, Drew sent a 0-1 slider from reliever Ryan O’Rourke into the right field seats for his 13th homer to cap a six-run sixth.
Gibson allowed six runs and six hits before being pulled after 5.1 innings.
Torii Hunter had an RBI ground out in the third that scored Aaron Hicks, and Trevor Plouffe added a run-scoring single in the ninth against reliever Justin Wilson.
The setback left the Twins waiting for their first series victory against New York since the opening of Target Field. The Yankees are now 16-5 in Minnesota since 2010.
The Minnesota Twins’ Kyle Gibson pitched 5.1 innings Sunday, surrendering six runs against the New York Yankees. The Greenfield-Central graduate’s pitching line against the Yankees as well as for the season: