Twins' Gibson eventually takes loss after two postponed starts
MAY 01, 2014 1:15a ET
MINNEAPOLIS -- Kyle Gibson had to wait three extra days before finally making his fifth start of the season.
Unfortunately for Gibson and the Twins, it wasn't quite worth the wait.
Minnesota's right-hander was supposed to start Sunday against Detroit, but Mother Nature had other plans by forcing the Twins and Tigers to postpone their game. That pushed Gibson back to Tuesday's series opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers which, once again, was postponed due to weather.
Gibson took the mound Wednesday as the weather finally cooperated long enough for the Twins to play a game at Target Field. When it was all said and done, Gibson was on the losing end as Minnesota fell 6-4 to the Dodgers. Gibson allowed five runs in 6 2/3 innings of work as he fell to 3-2 for the month of April.
Even though Gibson wasn't particularly hit hard, the Dodgers managed to find holes all over the field.
"You can only be so happy with these results," Gibson said. "At the end of the day, it's still 6 2/3 (innings), five runs. . . . They hit it where our players weren't. That's part of baseball."
Gibson cruised through the first inning, needing just six pitches to sit down the first three Dodgers batters in order. Though he gave up a leadoff double to start the second inning, Gibson worked around the early hit and escaped unscathed after two.
Los Angeles took advantage of a pair of walks by Gibson in the third inning to take a 2-1 lead. He walked Yasiel Puig with two outs and followed that up with two singles and another walk as Puig eventually scored the Dodgers' second run of the inning.
"I think that ended up being the hitter, walking Puig there in the third inning cost me a couple runs there," Gibson said. "It's frustrating having those walks, but luckily I've been able to work through them for the most part this season. But they caught up to me today."
Gibson had a chance to end the seventh inning trailing just 2-1, but a pair of two-out hits by the Dodgers ultimately did Gibson in. He gave up a single to Matt Kemp with two outs, and an RBI double by Andre Ethier scored Puig for a 3-1 Dodgers lead.
That was the last batter Gibson faced, but both baserunners were his responsibility as reliever Michael Tonkin entered the game. One pitch into his outing, Tonkin gave up a two-run single to Juan Uribe down the third base line to score Kemp and Ethier and close the books on Gibson's night.
Minnesota scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth to make things interesting, but ultimately fell 6-4. With the loss, the Twins are now 1-8 in series openers. This time around, Gibson was the one on the hook in defeat.
"I thought Gibson deserved better," said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. "He made pitches. They put them in the right place. They put the bat on the ball and put them in the right places on him there. . . . I thought he pitched a lot better than that. I thought he threw the ball pretty good. They just found the right places on the field against him."
Gibson was again irked by his walks in Wednesday's loss. He finished with three walks in the game and now has walked 14 batters in five starts this year. By comparison, Gibson walked just 20 hitters in 10 starts a season ago.
Still, even with Wednesday's five-run effort, Gibson finished the month of April as the Twins' best starting pitcher despite his ERA rising to 4.34 after the loss. His outing against the Dodgers was evidence, however, that Gibson still has some things to iron out as the season moves forward.
"It wasn't like anybody was killing him by any means. Even the last lefty that he faced broke the bat and it falls out in left field," Gardenhire said. "He did his job."
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