La Velle E. Neal III has covered baseball for the Star Tribune since 1998 (the post-Knoblauch era). Born and raised in Chicago, he grew up following the White Sox and hating the Cubs. He attended both the University of Illinois and Illinois-Chicago and began his baseball writing career at the Kansas City Star. He can be heard occasionally on KFAN radio, lending his great baseball mind to Paul Allen and other hosts. Mark Rosen borrows him occasionally for WCCO-TV.

Postgame: Gibson out of sync, knocked out early

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: June 25, 2014 - 1:24 AM

ANAHEIM -- Twins righthander Kyle Gibson never had it Tuesday. Not during warmups and definitely not in the game.

He was mechanically out of sync, and his search for his form was hampered by Angels hitters reaching base time and time again. The righthander couldn't catch his breath before something else went wrong.

It led to a two-inning outing, tying a career low, as the Twins lost 8-6 to the Angels, snapping their five-game winning streak. Gibson saw his 22-inning scoreless streak end as his season is being dotted by highs and lows. He's had scoreless streaks of 13 and 22 innings, but has had two outings in which he's given up seven earned runs.

``It’s just frustrating in a game where we are trying to keep a streak going and we have been playing really well,'' said Gibson, 6-6. ``And to go out there in the first inning and really don’t give us a chance. Then the offense battles us back into it, it’s just frustrating.’’

Gibson opened the first by walking Cole Calhoun and Mike Trout. Albert Pujols reached on a fielder's choice when Danny Santana fielded his grounder but tried for a force play at second that was uncessful.. Josh Hamilton singled to center, driving in two runs.  Gibson then plunked Erick Aybar with a pitch to re-load the bases. Howie Kendrick followed with a two-run single to right as the Angels pushed their lead to 4-0. A fifth run scored as C.J. Cron grounded into a double play.

The Angels' five-run first inning were more runs scored off of Gibson than he's given up in his last five starts combined.
``Looked like his ball was a little bit flatter tonight,'' Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said, ``Whether he was overthrowing or not.’’

But his teammates bailed him out.

Angels lefthander C.J. Wilson retired the side in order in the first inning, but Josh Willingham and Kendrys Morales greeted him with home runs to open the second. Trout nearly made the catch of the year on Willingham's drive, climbing the wall high enough to get both shoulders over as he reached for the ball and just missed it. It was the second time the Twins have hit back-to-back home runs this season, the other time coming on June 9 in Toronto when Santana and Brian Dozier began the game with home runs.

Sam Fuld hit a RBI single then scored on a Santana's double as the Twins closed within 5-4. Dozier singled to right, Santana slid home ahead of the tag and the game was tied at 5-5. A large crowd at Anaheim stadium rained boos down on their team while Santana high-fived fellow Twins in the dugout.

Gardenhire sent Gibson out for the second, hoping he would find something that worked and pitch a few more innings. Gibson, however, handed the lead right back.

Calhoun singled to left, and Trout buried a sinker down the middle out to right center for two-run home run and a 7-5 Angels lead.

``They jumped him early,'' Gardenhire said. ``He misfired, put men on base. Couldn’t make a pitch. I don’t think he had command of too much. Hoped to run him back out there and see if he could find a couple innings for us. That didn’t work out either. Just a rough night for him.''

Morales' sacrifice fly in the fifth made it 7-6, but the Angels added a run in the eighth.

 

POST-GAME NOTES

``This is a good park for a hitter,'' said Kendrys Morales, who spent six seasons with the Angels. He showed it on Tuesday with a home run to left in the second inning, his first as a Twin. He's a career .435 hitter against Angels starter C.J. Wilson and .256 against the Angels.

Samuel Deduno, who lost his spot in the rotation to Yohan Pino, pitched four shutout innings, giving up one hit while walking two. Mike Trout singled and stole second in the fifth but was stranded there. Deduno also got out of a two-on one out jam in the sixth

With Wilson on the mound, Gardenhire decided to bench the struggling Oswaldo Arcia.
Arcia's slump is now 2-for-43 for a .047 batting average and .070 slugging percentage, staggering numbers for someone expected to drive in runs. He spent extra time in the batting cage today with hitting coach Tom Brunansky - once again - in an effort to get straightened out.

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