Gibson enhances chance for Twins rotation spot despite HR allowed

  • Article by: LA VELLE E. NEAL III , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 19, 2014 - 11:00 PM

Twins starter Kyle Gibson threw 4⅓ innings against the Cardinals on Wednesday, allowing only a fifth-inning solo home run.

Photo: David Goldman • Associated Press,

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– Things were going fairly smoothly for righthander Kyle Gibson on Wednesday — until he faced Matt Adams in the fifth inning.

Adams crushed a slider over the fence in right for a home run, forming the only blemish on Gibson’s line during the Twins’ 3-1 loss to the Cardinals. Gibson admitted he vetoed a pitch signaled by catcher Josmil Pinto.

“I shook off Pinto on the last pitch to Adams,” Gibson said. “He wanted a fastball away and I wanted to go slider down and I should have just went with what he called.”

Live and learn. Gibson did a lot of that last season during a rough baptism in which he went 2-4 with a 6.53 ERA in 10 starts. This spring, he’s trying to show he’s learned his lessons. He gave up only one run over 4⅓ innings Wednesday and is now 0-0, 2.70 this spring with a chance to make the team.

Righthander Samuel Deduno replaced Gibson and retired six consecutive batters before getting into trouble in the eighth, when the Cardinals scored twice to break a 1-1 tie. Deduno gave up two hits and two walks in the inning, raising his spring ERA from 0.93 to 2.19.

But, apparently, Deduno’s outing hasn’t harmed his status with the club.

“All our pitchers threw the ball pretty darn good,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.

Jason Bartlett drove in the Twins’ only run with an RBI single in the sixth — his first hit in 30 plate appearances this spring.

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