Jun 29, 2013 at 6:03 pm
MINNEAPOLIS (KNSI) - Backed by six early runs and solid defense all the way around, rookie Kyle Gibson won his Major League debut 6-2 over the Kansas City Royals Saturday afternoon at Target Field.
Royals lead-off hitter Alex Gordon swung at Gibson's first big league pitch and popped out to left. It wasn't that easy all afternoon for the 25-year-old former first round pick, but he maintained solid control throughout his six innings, keeping his pitch-count low and extra runners off base.
After a quick top of the first inning to start his career, Twins starting pitcher Kyle Gibson watched his teammates give him the six run cushion in the bottom half of the first. Justin Morneau doubled home two, then came home himself when Trevor Plouffe launched his sixth home run of the season deep to left center. the blast extended Plouffe's 11 game hitting streak.
Gibson's only blemish on the afternoon came in the top of the 3rd when the Royals used four ground ball singles to score a pair of runs. The inning was nearly halted before it began however. Kansas City center fielder Jarrod Dyson led off the inning with a dribbler to short. Pedro Florimon charged and threw a strike to first, missing Dyson by a half step.
In the end Gibson's debut ended with a line of six innings pitched, two runs allowed on eight hits with five strike outs and no walks.
Florimon meanwhile got his revenge in Gibson's final inning. The Twins short stop made a full extension diving stop behind second base and threw out Miguel Tejada at first to end the sixth inning and the day for Gibson. Defensive help for the rookie started the inning as well when right fielder Chris Parmelee made a tumbling catch on a sinking line drive.
Gibson, a much heralded prospect, was taken with the 22nd overall pick in the 2009 draft by the Twins. He suffered a setback in his career when he was forced to have Tommy John surgery on his throwing shoulder, delaying any possible debut until today.
With the win the Twins move to 36-41, one half game back of the Royals for third place in the American League Central.
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