Kyle Gibson’s strong start stakes Twins to victory
DETROIT The Twins used a strong pitching performance by righthander Kyle Gibson on Saturday to defeat the Tigers 4-3.
Gibson missed the fat part of the Tigers bats all night. He wasnt striking out Detroit hitters at will. Rather, he was inducing weak contact. Of the six hits he gave up over the first six innings, two were infield hits to short and a third was into the hole at third created by a defensive shift.
The only time the Tigers hit the ball hard off Gibson they ended up scoring. That came in the second inning when Jim Adducci raked a triple to left-center, just beyond a diving attempt by center fielder Johnny Field. James McCann followed with a single to center to put the Tigers ahead 1-0. The Twins tied the game in the next inning when Eddie Rosario scored on a wild pitch by former Twin Francisco Liriano.
Tyler Austin, making his first start for the Twins since being called up on Friday, batted with Miguel Sano on first base. He got ahead 2-0 before missing a slider that was off the plate. Liriano appeared to throw another slider, but it had very little movement on it and, at 83 miles per hour, was close to batting practice speed. Austin didnt miss that one, blasting it into the left field seats for his first homer as a Twin and a 3-1 lead.
Rosario added an RBI double in the sixth.
The Twins were waiting for results of an MRI of Adalberto Mejias left arm, but there was concern that Mejia has more than that strain.
Mejia injured himself on the final pitch of his outing on Tuesday in Cleveland. Mejia was finishing up a five innings of scoreless work when he felt a twinge in his forearm during his final pitch of the fifth. He was taken out of the game, but the Twins were optimistic that he would make his start on Sunday against Detroit. But he had trouble playing catch on Friday in Detroit and was sent to the Twin Cities for tests.
When youre dealing with multiple parts, when they have a one-pitch reaction the way he did, and the fact theres lingering things that prohibit him from pitching, we have to make sure we know what were dealing with, Twins manager Paul Molitor said.
So far, so good for outfielder Byron Buxton, who has strung together several days of baseball-related activities.
Buxton landed on the disabled list at Class AAA Rochester in Aug. 2 because of a sore left wrist that put the remainder of his season in jeopardy.
The plan was for Buxton to be shut down for seven to 10 days before being re-evaluated. But he began swinging a bat early in the week and the Twins now plan to activate him on Tuesday. That would give Buxton 21 games to finish the Class AAA season strongly and convince the Twins to call him up once rosters can expand in September.
Righthander Michael Pineda, in his first rehabilitation start for Class A Fort Myers, threw three scoreless innings against the Florida Fire Frogs on Saturday. He scattered five hits and didnt walk a batter while striking out three.
Pineda is in the final stages of his comeback from Tommy John surgery. The Twins, who are paying him $2 million this season and $8 million next season, hope Pineda will be able to pitch for them sone time in September.
Morris No. 47
Jack Morris recognition tour continues on Sunday as his No. 47 will officially be retired by the Tigers. Teammates Lance Parrish and Dan Petry will be among those on hand for the ceremony.
The event comes just two weeks after Morris was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Morris will join Willie Horton, Hank Greenberg, Charlie Gehringer, Hal Newhouser, Sparky Anderson and Al Kaline to have their numbers retired by the club. Ty Cobb also is on the wall at Comerica Park, but didnt wear a number.
For Jack, Im sure his time here, I know how much he thinks of it and to be recognized like that, thats a pretty impressive wall theyve got out there, said Molitor, a fellow St. Paul native. His names going to look good next to some of those.