Kansas City at Minnesota

Kansas City
W: K. Gibson (1-0) L: W. Davis (4-6)
HR: KC - None   MIN - T. Plouffe (6)

Twins 6, Royals 2

CBSSports.com wire reports

MINNEAPOLIS -- Kyle Gibson wasn't dominant in his first major league start, but he still pitched well enough to make a bit of Minnesota Twins history and give the team a reason to be optimistic about the future of its pitching staff.

Four years after being Minnesota's top pick in the 2009 draft, Gibson pitched six solid innings, and Trevor Plouffe homered to help the Twins beat the Kansas City Royals 6-2 on Saturday.

The long road from draft day to starting pitcher included a Tommy John-surgery detour, but it ultimately ended with Gibson becoming Minnesota's first first-round pick to win a start in his major league debut.

He did it in front of about 30 family members and friends.

"It was an amazing day, really," Gibson said. "I was pretty nervous the last couple of days leading up to it, and was able to calm the nerves somehow. I think seeing a couple of familiar faces before I started throwing, and a little prayer before the game definitely helped me calm my nerves, but it was a great day."

Gibson (1-0) allowed two runs and eight hits, and he struck out five. He allowed two runs in the third inning on RBI singles by Alcides Escobar and Salvador Perez, and he hit Escobar in the fifth. But he worked out of several jams and recorded his first 1-2-3 inning in the sixth thanks to some nice defense by Pedro Florimon at short.

"We've been waiting for this for a while, and I'm sure he has, too," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Going through the elbow thing, and all the rehab and all the hard work that he's put in, it's a big moment. A big moment for him."

Gibson had plenty of early help as Minnesota scored five in the first inning. Wade Davis (4-6) was yanked after giving up another run in the second with no one out. The one-inning outing marked Davis' shortest outing of the season for the Royals, who have lost seven of 10.

"Never," Davis said when asked if he'd ever had a similar outing. "Not that short, anyways. Just frustrating to look back and look how that played out."

On Friday night, the Royals hit a season-high four homers against the Twins. They couldn't muster much of anything against Gibson through six innings, or against relievers Brian Duensing, Casey Fien or Glen Perkins.

Kansas City loaded the bases with one out against Fien in the eighth, but Lorenzo Cain and Miguel Tejada both struck out swinging.

"We got kind of put in a hole early there," first baseman Eric Hosmer said. "We were trying to inch back, and inch back. Just fell short."

Gibson's long-awaited arrival to the Twins' rotation came this week after starter Mike Pelfrey was placed on the disabled list because of a strained back. He received the loudest cheers during pregame introductions, and he delighted the crowd by striking out slugger Billy Butler to end the first inning.

"I think everybody in this room knows that feeling the first day that they step out there, nerves are going, but he handled it about as good as you could," catcher Joe Mauer said.

Minnesota had been outscored 74-39 in the first inning this season, but the Twins pounced right away on Davis, who gave up a two-run double to Justin Morneau and a two-run homer to Plouffe.

Florimon's RBI-single made it 5-0, and Gibson calmly handled the Royals lineup the rest of the way with pitches that consistently reached into the 90-mph range.

"You hear a lot about him, and he's got great makeup and great pitches, and he's going to be good one," Mauer said.


The Royals designated OF Jeff Francoeur for assignment after the game to make room for 2B Johnny Giavotella, who was called up from Triple-A Omaha.. Davis had been 3-0 in eight career appearances against the Twins. ... It took Davis 53 pitches to get through the first inning. It was the most first-inning pitches by a major-league starting pitcher since Wandy Rodrigues threw 55 on Aug. 1, 2007, at Atlanta for Houston. Davis threw 69 before being relieved by Will Smith in the second. "He fought his command. His stuff was OK, but he just didn't locate. I've never seen a 50-pitch inning," Royals manager Ned Yost said.. Plouffe stretched his hitting streak to 11 games, the second longest of his career. His highest is a 17-games spurt from June 30-July 19, 2012. ... Gibson is the eighth rookie used by the Twins this season. ... The Twins will go for the series win on Sunday when they send right-hander Kevin Correia (6-5) to the mound. The Royals counter with Ervin Santana (5-5).

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Players of the Game

T. Plouffe
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1

K. Gibson
IP 6.0
H 8
ER 2
BB 0
K 5

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Kansas City Royals
Alex Gordon, LF5000022 .286
Alcides Escobar, SS4111000 .254
Eric Hosmer, 1B3020101 .278
Billy Butler, DH4010024 .279
Salvador Perez, C4021021 .306
Mike Moustakas, 3B4020002 .216
Lorenzo Cain, RF4000024 .257
Miguel Tejada, 2B4010014 .270
Jarrod Dyson, CF3110011 .278
    Jeff Francoeur, PH1000010 .208
a-struck out for Dyson in the 9th
2B - Mike Moustakas (11, Gibson), Miguel Tejada (3, Gibson)
RBI - Alcides Escobar (23), Salvador Perez (31)
2-OUT RBI - Salvador Perez (11)
SB - Jarrod Dyson (10, 2nd base off Gibson/Mauer)
Team LOB - 9
Outfield Assists - Alex Gordon 1
DP - Smith-Escobar-Hosmer
Kansas City Royals
Wade Davis (L,4-6) 1566521 5.55
Will Smith 5300060 3.09
Luke Hochevar 2100030 2.37
Pitches-Strikes - Wade Davis 69-36, Will Smith 58-42, Luke Hochevar 30-19
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Will Smith 1-5, Luke Hochevar 2-1
Batters Faced - Wade Davis 13, Will Smith 15, Luke Hochevar 7
Minnesota Twins
Clete Thomas, CF4010023 .270
Brian Dozier, 2B3210120 .229
Joe Mauer, C2100220 .325
Justin Morneau, 1B3122110 .291
Trevor Plouffe, DH3113011 .273
Oswaldo Arcia, LF4000021 .278
Chris Parmelee, RF3100110 .227
Jamey Carroll, 3B4020000 .216
Pedro Florimon, SS3021000 .232
2B - Justin Morneau (22, Davis)
HR - Trevor Plouffe (6, Davis)
SF - Trevor Plouffe (3)
RBI - Justin Morneau 2 (46), Trevor Plouffe 3 (29), Pedro Florimon (24)
2-OUT RBI - Pedro Florimon (12)
CS - Clete Thomas (3, 2nd base by Smith/Perez)
Team LOB - 5
DP - Gibson-Florimon-Morneau
Minnesota Twins
Kyle Gibson (W,1-0) 6822050 3.00
Brian Duensing 1000120 3.81
Casey Fien 1200020 3.58
Glen Perkins 1000020 2.05
HBP - Escobar (by Kyle Gibson)
Pitches-Strikes - Kyle Gibson 91-64, Brian Duensing 17-10, Casey Fien 20-15, Glen Perkins 17-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kyle Gibson 7-5, Brian Duensing 1-0
Batters Faced - Kyle Gibson 26, Brian Duensing 4, Casey Fien 5, Glen Perkins 3
Game Information
Attendance - 36881
Game Time - 2:53
Temperature - 75
Umpires - Home - Ron Kulpa, First Base - Tom Hallion, Second Base - Phil Cuzzi, Third Base - Chris Guccione