A pair of trends continued Monday for Twins pitcher Kyle Gibson.
As he’s done since the end of April, Gibson followed up a strong start with a less-than-stellar performance. And his latest outing came on the road at Miller Park, perpetuating Gibson’s troubles away from Target Field this season.
It all added up to a 6-2 Twins loss to the Brewers in Monday’s series opener. Gibson was hit with the loss after allowing four runs in six innings of work to drop to 4-5 through 11 starts this season.
Gibson, facing the Brewers for the first time in his young career, had a perfect trip through Milwaukee’s order the first time around. But the Brewers batters figured him out when they faced him for a second time as Gibson was unable to make the adjustments. It began in the fourth inning when a pair of back-to-back singles up the middle by Jonathan Lucroy and Carlos Gomez made it a 2-0 Brewers lead.
"The Lucroy one I left over the middle a little bit and he found a hole up the middle," Gibson said. "Gomez being a pull hitter, we had the shortstop shaded a little bit, which that’s where you’re going to play him in that situation. He just found a hole up the middle, as well. . . . Unfortunately, that’s how it goes."
Milwaukee third baseman Mark Reynolds added to the lead one inning later, as Gibson fell victim to Reynolds’ home run power. Reynolds sent a two-run shot to right field off Gibson to put the Brewers up 4-0 in the fifth. Gibson lasted one more inning, getting Gomez to ground into an inning-ending double play. Despite throwing just 77 pitches, Gibson was lifted for pinch hitter Chris Parmelee with two outs in the seventh, effectively ending his night.
"He has a real good sinker, and he was mixing in that slider, especially in fastball counts," Lucroy said of Gibson. "I think as hitters, we kind of wanted to decide we wanted to go up there after the first time through and go up there and try to see him up in the zone. If he’s down in the zone and you swing at it, it’s a ball, so you’ve got to try to see him up in the zone and try to get a pitch elevated that you can get some good wood on."
With Monday’s loss, Gibson is now just 1-4 with a 7.39 ERA in six road starts this year. Monday’s loss followed a good outing at home in which he threw six shutout innings against Texas. Prior to that, it was a loss to the Giants. That start was preceded by a win against Seattle, during which he allowed just one run in seven innings. That back-and-forth pattern of a good start followed by a rough one is something Gibson has attempted to correct, but simply couldn’t do so Monday against the Brewers.
While Gibson was on the losing side of Monday’s pitching matchup, he did have a somewhat memorable day at the plate. Batting for just the second time in his major league career — he also hit against San Francisco during the Twins’ last road trip — Gibson picked up his first big league hit when he flared a single to right field with two outs in the top of the fifth inning. Minnesota’s coaching staff made sure to retrieve and save the ball to preserve what was one of the only pleasant memories of Gibson’s night Monday.
FOX Sports North’s Jamie Hersch contributed to this report.