Rough start, strong finish


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Trouble surfaced early and quickly for Greenfield native Kyle Gibson on Tuesday night against the Kansas City Royals.

Pitching an otherwise solid game at Kauffman Stadium, the Minnesota Twins right-hander gave up four earned runs against the first five batters faced, which was all opposing starter Edinson Volquez would need to give Kansas City a 4-2 win.

Eric Hosmer hit a three-run double and Kendrys Morales added an RBI double in the first inning off Gibson.

Volquez (13-7) tossed seven sharp innings. Wade Davis pitched a perfect eighth inning, and Greg Holland tossed a flawless ninth for his 30th save.

The only runs Volquez allowed were consecutive RBI hits by Brian Dozier and Joe Mauer.

“I thought he was great,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “His last start he was out of whack, all over the place. He was much more mechanically sound tonight.”

Gibson (9-10) settled down after a rough first inning and recovered to last eight innings for his first career complete game, but the Twins’ offense was unable to bail him out.

Gibson’s first six batters reached, and Hosmer and Morales staked Kansas City to an early 4-0 lead. But the Greenfield-Central graduate only allowed three more base runners through the next seven innings to suffer his first loss since Aug. 6.

“You can lose it in the first, but you can’t win it in the first. Those are situations that kind of speed up on you,” Gibson said. “I’m trying not to get too emotionally up in what happened, just take it one batter at a time and move on.”

The streaking Twins, who are still chasing Texas for the final American League wild-card spot, tried to mount a comeback after the Royals took their early lead.

Byron Buxton singled with one out in the third, later scoring on Dozier’s base hit, and Mauer followed with an RBI double to make it 4-2. But using some veteran guile, Volquez managed to get Trevor Plouffe to ground out and preserve his lead.

Plouffe also grounded into inning-ending double plays in the first and sixth, as the Twins failed to get a runner to second base the rest of the night.

Kansas City suddenly had a similarly difficult time against Gibson, who allowed a walk and only two hits after the first inning. Both of them were to Alex Gordon.

“I think that’s the first time I’ve been attacked like that,” Gibson said of the first inning. “Most teams come out taking, seeing if my sinker is going to stay in the zone.”

Gibson allowed six hits and walked two while throwing 101 pitches.

“This guy has arguably one of the best two-seamers in the league, and it wasn’t there in the first inning,” Yost said. “It was there in the second inning through the eighth.”

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Minnesota Twins’ Kyle Gibson suffered the loss against the Kansas City Royals, surrendering four runs in eight innings Tuesday night. The Greenfield-Central graduate’s pitching line against the Royals as well as for the season: