Minnesota at Seattle

Venue: Safeco Field
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The Minnesota Twins' surge has been sparked by tremendous improvement from the pitching staff, particularly the bullpen.

With rookie Kyle Gibson scheduled to take the mound Sunday, the Twins will likely need the relievers again as they try to continue their hot stretch against the Seattle Mariners.

Minnesota (45-56) has won eight of 11 after compiling a 5.65 ERA during a 1-12 skid.

The pitchers have keyed the turnaround, posting a 2.74 ERA over the last 11 games. The bullpen has been even more impressive with a 1.60 ERA during that stretch.

The relievers were vital to Friday's 3-2, 13-inning win at Seattle, yielding one run over the final 6 1-3. Samuel Deduno made sure the bullpen wasn't needed nearly as long Saturday as he allowed three hits in seven innings of a 4-0 victory.

Although he's struggled to pitch deep into games, Gibson (2-2, 5.72 ERA) has been much better lately.

The rookie right-hander has failed to last beyond the sixth inning in each of his five starts since being promoted from Triple-A Rochester last month, but his last two outings have ended in Twins victories.

That was the case again Tuesday, when Gibson allowed two solo homers in six innings of a 10-3 win in 10 over the Los Angeles Angels.

"I threw seven out of 23 first-pitch strikes, which is pretty bad," Gibson said. "I still need to work ahead in the count, which is something I'm working on."

Brian Dozier continued his hot hitting against the Mariners (49-55) with a solo homer Saturday. The second baseman is 8 for 25 (.320) with two home runs and four RBIs in six meetings this season.

Justin Morneau also homered for one of his two hits Saturday after entering 1 for 14 in his first three games this year against Seattle.

The Mariners are scheduled to send Erasmo Ramirez (1-0, 8.71) to the mound for his third start of the season.

The right-hander allowed three runs in 5 2-3 innings of a 4-3 win over Cleveland on Tuesday. That was a huge improvement over his season debut July 11, when he was tagged for a career-high seven runs and four walks over 4 2-3 innings of an 8-7, extra-inning loss to Boston.

Unlike the Twins, the Mariners' bullpen is struggling during a 1-3 stretch. The relievers have surrendered 11 runs with 11 walks and five homers in 15 1-3 innings over that span, and Yoervis Medina has been a major culprit.

The right-hander has allowed four runs and three homers - one to Dozier - in 1 2-3 innings over the past two games, getting charged with Friday's defeat. He had tossed 11 scoreless innings over his previous 10 appearances.

"He'll be OK," acting manager Robby Thompson said. "I'd rather look at it the other way and say he's only given up three. It just so happens it's been in the last couple days. He's done well and there are no red flags or concerns."

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Probable Starters

Kyle Gibson, RHP
2013 stats
28.1 Innings Pitched 10.1
2-2 Wins-Losses 1-0
5.72 Earned Run Average 8.71
10 Walks 6
15 Strikeouts 8
92 Pitches Per Start 101
Career vs. opponent
- Innings Pitched -
--- Wins-Losses ---
- Earned Run Average -

Erasmo Ramirez, HP
Weather
weather image  Morning clouds. Mild.
Hi TempLo TempWindHumidityPrecip %
74°F58°F5mph/SW49%14%
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Minnesota2nd AL Central8379.512125-5 L 3
Seattle4th AL West7686.469122-8 W 1
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Erasmo Ramirez
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Burton000000
Butera000000
Carroll000000
Colabello000000
Correia000000
 
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Kyle Gibson
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Blanco000000
Chavez000000
Farquhar000000
Franklin000000
Furbush000000
 

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Injuries
Minnesota
PlayerInjury
L. DarnellIllness
P. HughesIllness
R. PresslyLat
J. SchaferKnee
Seattle
PlayerInjury
C. FurbushRotator Cuff
J. PaxtonFinger
 
Series Game Log
DateatResult/TimeWinnerLoser
Apr 4TEX 4:05 PM EDT  
Apr 5TEX 8:05 PM EDT  
Apr 6TEX 2:05 PM EDT  
Apr 11SEA10:10 PM EDT  
Apr 12SEA10:10 PM EDT  
Apr 13SEA 3:40 PM EDT  
Jun 3TEX 8:05 PM EDT  
Jun 4TEX 9:05 PM EDT  
Jun 5TEX 3:05 PM EDT  
Jun 10SEA10:10 PM EDT  
Jun 11SEA10:10 PM EDT  
Jun 12SEA 4:10 PM EDT  
Aug 29TEX 8:05 PM EDT  
Aug 30TEX 8:05 PM EDT  
Aug 31TEX 2:05 PM EDT  
Sep 5SEA 4:10 PM EDT  
Sep 6SEA10:10 PM EDT  
Sep 7SEA10:10 PM EDT  
Sep 8SEA10:10 PM EDT