Kyle Gibson has given up six runs in two of his four August starts. He’s also allowed two runs and in his last start, pitched his first nine-inning complete games in beating Atlanta.
So it’s safe to say the Twins don’t know exactly what to expect tonight from their up-and-down righthander.
The Twins start a brief three-game homestand at 7:10 p.m., assuming the looming rain showers pass through quickly, and Gibson will make his ninth career start, albeit first this year, against Detroit.
“He’s got a lot of experience against this Tigers team,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “Some guys have done fairly well against him, but there’s no secrets. They know what he’s going to do, and they have their approach.”
That approach generally involves drawing walks — Detroit has 20 in 44 2/3 career innings against Gibson — but not hitting home runs, since the Tigers have only four all-time. As for the Tigers hitters, beware leadoff hitter Ian Kinsler, whose nine career hits against the Twins’ righthander are the second-most by any MLB player (KC’s Alcides Escobar has 10). Kinsler is 9-for-21 (.429) against Gibson, while Miguel Cabrera is 5-for-15 (.333).
Gibson is 3-4 with a 5.04 ERA against Detroit; Anibal Sanchez, the Tigers’ righthander, is 4-4 with a 2.49 ERA against Minnesota, but lost his only start against the Twins this season.
Molitor said he won’t be shuffling his rotation, though he and his coaching staff considered it given Monday’s off day. That means Hector Santiago, Ervin Santana and Gibson will start over the weekend in Toronto.
Here are the lineups for the first game of three with the Tigers, who have lost 10 of their last 14 games, but who are 7-2 against the Twins:
V. Martinez DH
J.D. Martinez RF