BOSTON — Kyle Gibson faces David Price tonight in the finale of the Twins’ four-game visit to Fenway Park, and that’s a familiar matchup. This is the fourth time those two pitchers have faced each other, and Price has outpitched Gibson in two of the three previous meetings.
The Red Sox lefthander has a 3.27 ERA in those games, while Gibson’s ERA is 7.71 against Price’s Rays and Tigers teams. Price is 9-3 against the Twins in his career, and hasn’t lost to Minnesota since 2014.
“It’s tough to get him off his game,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said of Price, the 2012 Cy Young winner. “He’s a pretty poised guy. It’s been an odd season for him with the injuries, and he’s probably still trying to find his way a little bit. He’s the same guy, though. He can still reach back for a little extra. The changeup plays to righties in particular. It’s a tough matchup for us.”
True, but the Twins are playing with confidence, Molitor said, with four wins already on this 11-game trip. And while Price and Gibson have squared off before, this will be the first time since Price joined the Red Sox, and therefore the first time in Fenway Park.
“Gibby has pitched well in this park,” Molitor said, and the numbers prove it. The Twins’ righthander has allowed one run over 15 innings in his two previous starts here, and 0.60 ERA. He’s actually allowed only four hits and one walk, while striking out 16 here, holding Boston to an .082 batting average.
Miguel Sano, newly chosen for the Home Run Derby next month in Miami, will serve as designated hitter tonight, because Molitor has been trying to get Eduardo Escobar plenty of playing time against left-handed pitching. Molitor said he anticipates Sano playing the field at least three times this weekend.
Once tonight’s game is over, the Twins will head to the airport, with arrival scheduled for sometime after 2 a.m. in Kansas City.
Here are the lineups for the Twins’ final game in Fenway Park this year: