Staff and wire reports
MINNEAPOLIS — CC Sabathia tossed six strong innings and Didi Gregorius hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the seventh to help the Yankees snap their four-game losing streak with a 4-1 win against the Twins on Thursday night at Target Field.
The three-run blast from Gregorius came on the first pitch from lefty reliever Fernando Abad, who entered in relief of Greenfield native Kyle Gibson.
Gregorius carried a 0.79 ERA and hadn’t allowed a homer all year. It helped Sabathia pick up his second straight win, as he limited Minnesota to one run on six hits and three walks, with seven strikeouts.
“He threw me a fastball right down the middle, and I hit a home run,” Gregorius told MLB.com reporters. “I’m not looking to hit a home run, but it happened. You can at least drive one run in, that’s what you always look for in those situations.”
Before the three-run bomb, Gibson limited the Yankees to one run through 61/3 innings. The right-hander was lifted in the seventh with one out and the game tied 1-1 after Alex Rodriguez and Brian McCann reached base.
Gibson was charged with three earned runs, two walks while allowing six hits and striking out four.
The 28-year-old sustained his second straight loss since returning from the disabled list with a shoulder strain. Gibson returned against the Boston Red Sox on June 11, taking the loss after surrendering five earned runs in 52/3 innings. The Twins’ bullpen went on to yield another 10 runs in the lopsided 15-4 blowout.
It was Gibson’s first start since April 22. The former Greenfield-Central Cougar is still searching for his first win this season, standing at 0-5 with a 6.06 ERA.
Despite the loss, Gibson picked up his second quality start of the year and his first since April 17.
The Yankees loaded the bases with nobody out in the sixth, but Gibson was able to limit New York to one run scored by Gregorius on an RBI single from Jacoby Ellsbury.
Gibson got Brett Gardner to pop up to second for the first out before inducing an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play from Carlos Beltran.
“It was a great feeling,” Gibson told MLB.com reporters. “A couple crazy things happened to get to that situation. Beltran is a professional hitter and puts together some great at-bats, but I was able to set up the sinker with two changeups that at-bat.”
Abad wasn’t so lucky in the seventh.
“It was just one pitch,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said of Gregorius’ homer. “You realize it’s a dangerous part of the game with facing their bullpen the last three innings. We just couldn’t make the pitch to stay in the game.”
Relievers Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller and closer Aroldis Chapman combined to throw three scoreless innings with four strikeouts to preserve the win, with Chapman getting his 12th save.
Gibson’s next start will come when the Twins host the Philadelphia Phillies for a three-game series beginning June 21.
Kyle Gibson suffered a tough loss at Target Field on Thursday against the New York Yankees. The Greenfield-Central graduate last 6 1/3 innings and was charged with three earned runs. Gibson’s pitching line against the Yankees as well as for the 2016 season: