Gibson avoids big inning, but Twins fall

Staff and wire reports

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Twins lost their touch at Target Field this weekend dropping a doubleheader to the Los Angeles Angels, but right-hander Kyle Gibson battled despite his team’s setback in their chase for an American League wild-card berth.

Gibson cruised through the first five frames in the first of two games played on Saturday and recorded his second consecutive quality start — fourth in five outings — before handing over the ball with Minnesota trailing 3-1.

Miguel Sano homered in the seventh to tie the game, but a pair of mistakes in the 12th inning by the Twins let the Angels score the go-ahead run in a 4-3 finale.

The Angels went on to win the second game 5-2 to hand the Twins their fifth straight home loss and take a one-game lead in the wild-card race.

In Saturday’s doubleheader, it appeared the Twins were destined to halt the downward trend at three as Gibson kept the Angels’ bats quiet until the middle innings for a no-decision.

Gibson and Andrew Heaney were locked in a scoreless pitchers’ duel, but the Angels finally had a chance to break the game open in the sixth when Gibson loaded the bases to begin the inning.

Mike Trout knocked in a run on a sacrifice fly, and the Angels tacked on one more on a fielder’s-choice grounder by C.J. Cron. But the inning could have been much worse for Gibson, who got Erick Aybar to ground out to first, ending the threat.

Gibson limited the damage and gave up just three runs in his 61/3 innings. He finished with five strikeouts and three walks.

The Greenfield-Central graduate has been the Twins most consistent starting pitcher this season, compiling a 3.73 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and 131/61 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 186.0 innings.

“It was a battle out there today, they’re a good team,” Gibson told reporters. “They were pretty patient early and it ended up working in my favor. (In the middle innings) they started swinging more and got to my offspeed early and I got behind a couple of guys. They adjusted like good teams do.”

At a glance

Minnesota Twins’ Kyle Gibson logged a quality start in Saturday’s no-decision against the Los Angeles Angels, surrendering three runs in 6 1/3 innings. The Greenfield-Central graduate’s pitching line against the Angels as well as for the season: