Daily Reporter staff and wire reports
MINNEAPOLIS — The Cleveland Indians boosted their slim playoff chances Thursday night, chasing Minnesota Twins’ Kyle Gibson off early to win 6-3.
Jason Kipnis hit a leadoff homer, Carlos Santana connected for a three-run shot and the Indians jumped ahead 6-0 before the third out was recorded in the third inning.
Gibson (10-11) was tagged for all six runs, lasting just 22/3 innings.
The Greenfield-native threw 64 pitches for Minnesota, his shortest start since July 4, 2014. He allowed seven hits and six earned runs, but struck out five.
“The team’s relying on me to go out there and put up a couple zeros and give the team a chance to get a lead. When you don’t do that right off the bat after the first batter, it’s pretty frustrating,” Gibson said.
Gibson was a model of consistency in the first half of the season, posting a 2.85 ERA and an 8-6 record through 18 starts. Since the All-Star break, however, the Greenfield-Central graduate has given up at least six runs five time and is 2-5 with a 5.64 ERA.
His outing against the Indians held true to recent history, with Gibson dropping to 1-2 in his career in six starts. He owns a 6.99 ERA versus the Tribe and has surrendered 22 earned runs in 281/3 innings.
On Thursday, Kipnis hit an opposite-field homer on Gibson’s third pitch — his fourth leadoff home run of the season — to get the Indians rolling. Chisenhall added a two-run single for a quick 3-0 Cleveland lead.
Minnesota had two on and nobody out in the bottom of the first, but couldn’t score. Center fielder Abraham Almonte threw out Aaron Hicks at the plate for the second out.
Santana hit a three-run shot in the third to make it 6-0 after Jose Ramirez doubled and Lindor singled to start the inning.
Torii Hunter and Eddie Rosario homered for Minnesota, which finished a 4-6 homestand by taking two of three from Cleveland.
“We won the series, which is good, but we’ve got to look forward … and try to get another win,” first baseman Joe Mauer said.
Up next: Gibson will look to rebound Tuesday when the Twins travel to Cleveland. He pitches the second night in the four-game series.
Minnesota Twins’ Kyle Gibson suffered the loss in Thursday’s game against the Cleveland Indians, surrendering six runs in 2 2/3 innings. The Greenfield-Central graduate’s pitching line against the Indians as well as for the season: