CHICAGO — The Minnesota Twins haven’t told Kyle Gibson — or his manager — when the rookie right-hander will be shut down for the season.
After halting his recent skid and saying post game that his arm is in great shape, the Greenfield-Central graduate looks like he will make the decision difficult for the Twins’ front office.
Gibson went five and two-thirds innings Friday, allowing three earned runs on four hits. He struck out four, walked four and hit one batter as Minnesota topped the Chicago White Sox 7-5 before a crowd of 17,439 at U.S. Cellular Field in Game 1 of a day-night doubleheader. The masses included a contingent of Gibson’s family and friends that convened with him after the game.
Justin Morneau’s seventh-inning grand slam turned a 3-1 deficit into a 5-3 lead for the Twins, and ensured that Gibson (2-3, 6.43 ERA) wouldn’t go home with his fourth loss in what will likely be one of his final starts because of an anticipated innings limit.
Chicago did its damage against Gibson in the second and fifth innings.
With one out in the first, White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko clubbed an 85-mph changeup into the seats in left-center field to level the game at one.
After retiring the first two batters in the fifth, Gibson issued a walk to Chicago second baseman Gordon Beckham. The next batter, White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez, hit the sixth pitch of his at-bat over the fence in left field. Ramirez’s second home run of the season — his first round-tripper since April 3, a span of 451 at-bats —put the hosts ahead 3-1.
Gibson set the White Sox down in order in the first and third innings. Following a pair of fly outs to begin the fourth, third baseman Conor Gillaspie singled and right fielder Jordan Danks was hit by a Gibson offering in the leg. Gibson ended the threat by striking out catcher Tyler Flowers on a 93-mph fastball.