Trending in the right direction: Gibson picks up win

MINNEAPOLIS — Right-hander Kyle Gibson tossed his longest outing of the year to help push the Twins past the Angels 5-4 on Tuesday at Target Field. The Greenfield-Central graduate’s quality start secured Minnesota’s 10th win in its past 13 meetings with Los Angeles, including six straight at home.

Gibson held the Halos to a pair of runs over 6.2 innings, marking the first time all year he had recorded an out in the seventh. Gibson scattered five hits while recording four strikeouts and a pair of walks. It is the second time in as many days the Twins staff posted a quality start after recording just one over the previous 12 outings.

“My mindset has allowed me to execute better,” Gibson told MLB.com reporters. The pitcher has a 3.91 ERA over his past eight starts.

“I’m not trying to turn around my season in one start. It’s going to take 15-16 starts until my season is where I want it,” Gibson added. “So I’m trying to ignore the scoreboard and just give my team a chance to win every five days. Trying not to put too much pressure on each outing.”

Gibson was demoted to Triple-A Rochester in early May after a difficult April. In five starts to open the season, Gibson went 0-3 with an 8.06 ERA through 22.1 innings. H surrendered six home runs and allowed 20 earned runs before the Twins decided to make a move.

He returned to the Twins in late May, winning his first start back in the rotation on May 22 against the Baltimore Orioles. In June, his numbers began to improve as Gibson went 3-2 with a 4.24 ERA in six starts.

With his recent win, his ERA shrank from 6.11 to 5.82. It stood at 8.20 on May 4 and has trended downward since late May. His best season to date occurred in 2015 when he posted a 3.84 ERA with an 11-11 record. He won 13 games in 2014 with a 4.47 ERA.

Gibson’s outing Tuesday gave the Twins a chance to find their opportunities. The Twins only managed to score one run through the first four innings, despite having baserunners in all but one frame.

However, they tagged reliever JC Ramirez with four straight hits to open the fifth, to ultimately take a 3-1 advantage.

Byron Buxton led the inning off with a single and moved to scoring position with his 15th stolen base of the season. Robbie Grossman followed up with an RBI double and Joe Mauer followed suit with a run-scoring knock through the left side.

Buxton hit a solo home run in the sixth that traveled an estimated 416 feet.

“It was really good to see Buck have a good day,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said about Buxton, who went 3-for-4. “He squared up a few balls, including the homer. Robbie had a good day, and Joe had a big RBI.”

At a glance

Kyle Gibson celebrated the Fourth of July with a quality start and a win after logging a 6.2-inning gem. He fanned four and walked two against the Los Angeles Angels while limiting them to five hits. The win improves his record to 5-6 in 15 starts. Gibson’s pitching line against the Angels as well as for the 2017 season:

GM/YR;IP;H;R;ER;BB;SO;HR;ERA;W-L

Tuesday;6.2;5;2;2;2;4;1;2.70;1-0

2016 season;77.1;97;54;50;36;50;14;5.82;5-6