Staff and wire reports
MINNEAPOLIS — A season of exile in the minor leagues left Oswaldo Arcia searching for ways to get back in the Minnesota Twins’ good graces.
Going to the opposite field in a big moment for the second game in a row was a good place to start.
Arcia’s single down the left-field line scored Byron Buxton in the 12th inning, and the Twins completed a three-game sweep of the Los Angeles Angels with a 3-2 victory Sunday.
Arcia hit a big home run to left in the eighth inning Saturday, then beat the shift twice Sunday to show a more mature approach at the plate.
Greenfield-Central graduate Kyle Gibson started the game for Minnesota and tossed seven strong innings.
The right-hander held the Angels to two runs for the no-decision in his third start of the season. Gibson surrendered a leadoff walk and a two-run home run to Albert Pujols in the top of the first but settled in to scatter four hits overall.
He struck out four and walked a pair before the Twins’ bullpen took over.
“After that (homer), we had a pretty good game plan coming in, and I was able to execute,” Gibson told MLB.com reporters. “As a starting staff, you want to be trusted to give the team six or seven innings. Just because you give up a couple early, you gotta be able to lock it down and give the offense a chance.”
In Gibson’s two previous starts, his days were cut short by the sixth inning, and he allowed a combined seven runs to see his ERA balloon to 7.20. With the quality start, his ERA now stands at 3.57. He posted a career-best 3.84 ERA to finish the 2015 season.
Trevor Plouffe had three hits and an RBI for the Twins, who have won three straight after starting the season 0-9. Michael Tonkin (1-0) struck out four in two innings for his first win.
Albert Pujols hit his 562nd career home run for the Angels. Nick Tropeano gave up one run on five hits and struck out three in 5-plus innings, but the Angels managed just four hits, none over the final eight innings.
The Twins got 13 hits and were on the bases all day against Angels pitching.
But they had a hard time cashing in until the 12th when they played Arcia to pull. The left-handed hitter beat the shift for the third time in two days and Buxton scored easily from second.
“After (last) season was over, I went down to Fort Myers to work for moments like this,” Arcia said through a translator. “I just want to keep helping this team and put me in positions like this to help the team win.”
The Twins came back to tie it 2-2 with a double from Plouffe in the fourth and a groundout from Oswaldo Arcia in the eighth, and the Angels went 0 for 12 with seven strikeouts over the final four innings.
“The hits just aren’t coming,” Angels second baseman Johnny Giavotella said. “That’s the way baseball is. There’s a lot of ups and downs, you got to weather the storm and have confidence in who you are as a player.”
Kyle Gibson settled in for seven strong innings against the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday to help the Twins complete a three-game sweep. The Greenfield-Central graduate earned a no-decision in the 12-inning affair. Gibson’s pitching line against the Angels as well as for the 2016 season: