While Kyle Gibson gave up a two-run home to Jurickson Profar that broke a 1-1 tie, he did achieve something he's only done five times all season: Pitch at least seven innings.
It ended up being an outing the Twins bullpen needed, as Taylor Rogers pitched the final two innings to pick up his 14th save, a career high. Now other relievers are in good shape going into tomorrow.
Gibson gave up three runs over seven innings on six his with no walks and seven strikeouts. Baldelli let Gibson go out for the seventh even after he gave up the home run, a sign that he liked what No. 44 was doing.
"That's something that probably doesn't get talked about a ton, but I think it is huge," Baldelli said. "For him to go out there. He pitched very well the entire day. I think he had everything working. He had his normal fastball and breaking ball but he also
had a good changeup that he used several times when he needed it to pull out something a little different. Then to go out there and have a tough spot where he makes a pretty good pitch and the ball goes out and we're down but to stay focused and to go out there the next inning and give us another inning and get us to where we need to be, that is big. Those are things that seem small but there are actually pretty big."
On June 14, Gibson threw eight shutout innings at Kansas City. He had a 5.09 ERA since then, going into tonight's game. So to shake off the home run to pitch a scoreless seventh inning and watch it work out was big for Gibson.
"Sometimes that seventh inning isn’t guaranteed to starters, especially after they give up the two runs in the sixth inning so to be at 93 pitches, I still felt really good and to be ran back out there and allowed to get that seventh inning was huge for me just for confidence-wise," he said. "It can really kind of do a lot for a guy when you can go back out there and finish the game clean especially against a top of the lineup guys and get the job done. It was really something where I knew that I could still execute pitches and when you go back and look, at pitches that they get hits on and they’re still executed late in the game, you still have to be confidence in your stuff so thankfully Rocco and Wes gave me the chance to do that."
The Twins could used a strong stretch from Gibson, whose next win will match his total for all of 2018.
Umpire leaves game
Home plate umpire Quinn Wolcott had to leave the game in the fourth inning after taking a foul ball off his mask.
C.J. Cron was at the plate when a foul ball came off the bat and struck the part of the mask that covered Wolcott's chin. Wolcott buckled but stayed on his feet.
Twins assistant trainer Matt Biancuzzo went to his aid as the rest of the umpiring crew jogged in to check on him. After a couple minutes, Wolcott came out of the game and was replaced at home plate by Bruce Dreckman.
This is the second consecutive homestand during which a home plate umpire had to leave a game. Gerry Davis had to leave the July 7 game against the Rangers after feeling the effects of being out in the heat all afternoon.
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