FORT MYERS, Fla. – Kyle Gibson’s start on Friday began with a home run by Andrew Benintendi and ended with a home run by Jackie Bradley Jr.
In between wasn’t great, either, but the righthander said he saw good signs in his outing, despite Boston’s 10-6 rout of the Twins at Hammond Stadium.
“It was one of those days. I actually felt like I executed pitches pretty well,” said Gibson, who allowed five runs on eight hits while recording eight outs. “Made some pitches, got some ground balls. Not too bad — other than the final run total.”
Benintendi crushed the first pitch out of Gibson’s hand for a leadoff home run that reached the bar area beyond the right-field seats. Boston scored two more runs in the inning, and after a 1-2-3 second, Gibson surrendered a two-run homer to Bradley that landed in almost the same spot.
“The one pitch I’m not too happy about was the Bradley pitch. Wrong pitch at the wrong time in the wrong location,” said Gibson, whose ERA jumped to 5.87 in Grapefruit League play. He was removed after Bradley’s blast, and the next two Red Sox hitters, catcher Christian Vazquez and designated hitter Gorkys Hernandez, followed by launching long home runs of their own off minor-league reliever D.J. Baxendale.
Max Kepler drove in two runs with a two-out, bases-loaded single, and third baseman Marwin Gonzalez drove in his first run of the spring with a sixth-inning single.
The Twins rallied with two runs in the ninth, one scoring when Ronald Torreyes dove into first base to beat pitcher Hunter Smith to the bag, but left the bases loaded when Adam Rosales flew out to end the 3-hour, 50-minute game. Byron Buxton collided with Boston shortstop Xander Bogaerts during a second-inning rundown, and left the game. The Twins said he had suffered a “facial contusion,” an injury that is not believed to be serious.