Gibson, Twins top Rays 5-1 in rain-delayed series opener

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Nine years after drafting Kyle Gibson in the first round and six seasons into his major league career, the faith the Minnesota Twins have had in the lanky right-hander has finally been rewarded on a consistent basis.

He's gained a greater level of confidence in himself, too.

Gibson struck out nine batters over eight easy innings for the Twins, who handed Tampa Bay ace Blake Snell his shortest start of the season and beat the Rays 5-1 on Thursday night after a two-hour rain delay.

''Just had to add to the caffeine and keep the body loose,'' Gibson said.

Eddie Rosario hit a two-run homer in the seventh against reliever Chih-Wei Hu for more cushion, but Gibson (4-6) was already well in control on his way to consecutive wins for the first time this year. He gave up five hits without a walk, and the only run he permitted came on a sacrifice fly by Kevin Kiermaier in the eighth.

''Hopefully he pitches as well in the second half,'' Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said, ''and gets a lot more wins to show for it.''

Fernando Rodney relieved Ryan Pressly in the ninth to get the last two outs and his 21st save, preserving the seventh victory in eight games for the Twins.

The Rays had their five-game winning streak stopped after a rare clunker from Snell (12-5), who lasted only three innings and threw just 43 of 75 pitches for strikes.

The lefty took the second-lowest ERA in the American League into the game, with just two runs allowed over his last 28 2/3 innings while winning each of his last four turns. But he was in trouble every inning and found himself trailing 3-0 after back-to-back RBI doubles by Robbie Grossman and Jorge Polanco in the third.

''For whatever reason, he just wasn't able to make the pitches that we've seen him make so many times this year,'' manager Kevin Cash said.

Snell wasn't so upset about the early hook as he was about his own mechanical trouble that he believes he could've prevented.

''It was just a lot of me making mental errors and not correcting them as fast as I should have,'' Snell said. ''They capitalized.''

The Twins hustled through that third inning. Brian Dozier singled and took second on a wild pitch. Then as he attempted to steal third, Grossman swung at a high pitch for an awkward-but-effective hit-and-run. Polanco later stole third base, too, though he was ultimately stranded.

''You've got to try to create against him when you get a chance,'' Molitor said.

Gibson took it from there, continuing his renaissance with his longest start on the 2018 ledger. He dropped his ERA to 3.42, more than a full run lower than his career mark. He also has by far the best strikeout rate of his career, just short of an average of one per inning.

After getting sent down to Triple-A Rochester twice last season, Gibson worked with a sports psychologist. He began to rediscover his fastball command and, more importantly, his self-esteem on the mound. Gibson gave up more than three runs only once in his last 12 starts of 2017.

''I was putting too much stress on myself and putting too much importance on being great or being really good and losing sight of what I needed to do,'' he said.

BACK DOWN

The Rays sent rookie shortstop Willy Adames, one of the organization's top prospects, back to Triple-A Durham before the game. There's a playing-time pinch in the infield, and Adames has been struggling at the plate. Cash said the demotion ''was a really hard decision'' for the team.

''We thought we were going to be able to do a better job of creating a lane,'' Cash said.

The Rays used the roster spot to recall Hu, acquired in a trade with the Twins for reliever Kevin Jepsen in 2015.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rays: SS Christian Arroyo wasn't deemed ready to come off the DL to replace Adames. Arroyo is on a rehab assignment for a strained left oblique, and he exited early from his game Thursday night at Durham with an injury to his left hand.

Twins: DH-1B Logan Morrison was put on the DL for a nagging hip problem that he expects won't require more than the minimum 10-day stay. ''It's been manageable and still is manageable,'' he said. ''Just need to take a step back and use the break as some time without missing games.''

UP NEXT

Rays: RHP Nathan Eovaldi (3-3, 3.35 ERA) pitches the second game of the series, coming off a stellar start against the Mets last weekend when he retired his first 18 batters and finished with only one hit allowed, no runs and nine strikeouts in seven innings.

Twins: RHP Jake Odorizzi (4-6, 4.28 ERA) takes the mound on Friday night, facing his former team for the first time. Odorizzi, traded to the Twins in February, pitched six scoreless innings in his last turn against the Orioles for his first win in 11 starts.

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123456789RHE
TB48-45
000000010171
MIN42-49
01200020X570
  • W: K. Gibson (4-6)L: B. Snell (12-5)S: F. Rodney (21)
  • HR: MIN - E. Rosario (19)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
K. Kiermaier CF30010000.171.259.285.5441.0
D. Robertson 3B40000040.260.386.400.786-2.0
J. Bauers LF40300000.252.377.461.8384.0
W. Ramos C30200101.295.345.484.8294.0
J. Choi DH40000026.237.275.474.749-1.0
C. Cron 1B40100032.253.325.472.797-0.5
J. Wendle 2B40000004.273.320.367.6870.0
A. Hechavarria SS31100000.251.282.335.6173.0
a- M. Duffy PH10000013.309.363.409.771-0.5
M. Smith RF30000011.272.337.372.708-0.5
  • a-struck out for Hechavarria in the 9th
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
J. Mauer 1B41100000.273.360.355.7152.0
E. Rosario LF41221000.302.344.535.8788.0
B. Dozier 2B31100100.229.314.419.7333.0
R. Grossman RF31110100.241.323.355.6785.0
J. Polanco SS40110023.250.333.325.6584.0
W. Astudillo DH40000014.263.263.368.632-0.5
M. Kepler CF31000101.228.313.405.7192.0
E. Adrianza 3B30100001.262.314.408.7221.0
B. Wilson C30000020.163.225.272.497-1.0
    BATTING
    • 2B - J. Bauers (11), W. Ramos (12), A. Hechavarria (7)
    • SF - K. Kiermaier
    • RBI - K. Kiermaier (8)
    BATTING
    • 2B - R. Grossman (12), J. Polanco (3)
    • HR - E. Rosario (19)
    • RBI - E. Rosario 2 (56), R. Grossman (27), J. Polanco (4)
    BASERUNNING
    • SB - J. Polanco (2)
    FIELDING
    • DP - (Hechavarria-Wendle-Cron)
    • E - D. Robertson (7)
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    B. Snell (L, 12-5)3.05333202.271.07-6.0
    C. Hu5.02220315.870.7812.5
    PITCHERSIP
    B. Snell (L, 12-5)3.0
    C. Hu5.0
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    K. Gibson (W, 4-6)8.05110903.421.2332.5
    R. Pressly0.12001103.771.47-2.5
    F. Rodney (S, 21)0.20000103.001.277.5
    PITCHERSIP
    K. Gibson (W, 4-6)8.0
    R. Pressly0.1
    F. Rodney (S, 21)0.2
    PITCHING
    • WP - B. Snell 2 (13)
    • Pitches-Strikes - B. Snell 75-43, C. Hu 61-43
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - B. Snell 4-2, C. Hu 4-9
    • Batters Faced - B. Snell 16, C. Hu 18
    PITCHING
    • WP - K. Gibson (3)
    • Pitches-Strikes - K. Gibson 113-72, R. Pressly 16-9, F. Rodney 7-5
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - K. Gibson 4-11, F. Rodney 1-0
    • Batters Faced - K. Gibson 29, R. Pressly 4, F. Rodney 2
    PLAYERS OF THE GAME
    123456789RHE
    TB48-45
    000000010171
    MIN42-49
    01200020X570
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    K. Kiermaier CF30010000.171.259.285.5441.0
    D. Robertson 3B40000040.260.386.400.786-2.0
    J. Bauers LF40300000.252.377.461.8384.0
    W. Ramos C30200101.295.345.484.8294.0
    J. Choi DH40000026.237.275.474.749-1.0
    C. Cron 1B40100032.253.325.472.797-0.5
    J. Wendle 2B40000004.273.320.367.6870.0
    A. Hechavarria SS31100000.251.282.335.6173.0
    a- M. Duffy PH10000013.309.363.409.771-0.5
    M. Smith RF30000011.272.337.372.708-0.5
    Total33171011117-----
    • a-struck out for Hechavarria in the 9th
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    J. Mauer 1B41100000.273.360.355.7152.0
    E. Rosario LF41221000.302.344.535.8788.0
    B. Dozier 2B31100100.229.314.419.7333.0
    R. Grossman RF31110100.241.323.355.6785.0
    J. Polanco SS40110023.250.333.325.6584.0
    W. Astudillo DH40000014.263.263.368.632-0.5
    M. Kepler CF31000101.228.313.405.7192.0
    E. Adrianza 3B30100001.262.314.408.7221.0
    B. Wilson C30000020.163.225.272.497-1.0
    Total315741359-----
      BATTING
      • 2B - J. Bauers (11), W. Ramos (12), A. Hechavarria (7)
      • SF - K. Kiermaier
      • RBI - K. Kiermaier (8)
      BATTING
      • 2B - R. Grossman (12), J. Polanco (3)
      • HR - E. Rosario (19)
      • RBI - E. Rosario 2 (56), R. Grossman (27), J. Polanco (4)
      BASERUNNING
      • SB - J. Polanco (2)
      FIELDING
      • DP - (Hechavarria-Wendle-Cron)
      • E - D. Robertson (7)
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      B. Snell (L, 12-5)3.05333202.271.07-6.0
      C. Hu5.02220315.870.7812.5
      Total8.0755351---
      PITCHERSIP
      B. Snell (L, 12-5)3.0
      C. Hu5.0
      Total8.0
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      K. Gibson (W, 4-6)8.05110903.421.2332.5
      R. Pressly0.12001103.771.47-2.5
      F. Rodney (S, 21)0.20000103.001.277.5
      Total9.07111110---
      PITCHERSIP
      K. Gibson (W, 4-6)8.0
      R. Pressly0.1
      F. Rodney (S, 21)0.2
      Total9.0
      PITCHING
      • WP - B. Snell 2 (13)
      • Pitches-Strikes - B. Snell 75-43, C. Hu 61-43
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - B. Snell 4-2, C. Hu 4-9
      • Batters Faced - B. Snell 16, C. Hu 18
      PITCHING
      • WP - K. Gibson (3)
      • Pitches-Strikes - K. Gibson 113-72, R. Pressly 16-9, F. Rodney 7-5
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - K. Gibson 4-11, F. Rodney 1-0
      • Batters Faced - K. Gibson 29, R. Pressly 4, F. Rodney 2
      • 8TH INNING
        Kiermaier hit sacrifice fly to center, Hechavarria scored15
      • 7TH INNING
        Rosario homered to center, Mauer scored05
      • 3RD INNING
        Polanco doubled to left, Grossman scored03
        Grossman doubled to right, Dozier scored02
      • 2ND INNING
        Wilson grounded into double play shortstop to second to first, Kepler scored, Adrianza out at second01
      • 9TH INNING
        • Ryan Pressly relieved Kyle Gibson
        • J. Bauers: Bauers singled to right
        • W. Ramos: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ramos walked, Bauers to second
        • J. Choi: Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Choi struck out swinging
        • C. Cron: Cron singled to right, Bauers to third, Ramos to second
        • Fernando Rodney relieved Ryan Pressly
        • J. Wendle: Ball, Foul, Wendle reached on fielder's choice to pitcher, Bauers out at home, Ramos to third, Cron to second
        • Matt Duffy hit for Adeiny Hechavarria
        • M. Duffy: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Duffy struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 9th (0 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 8TH INNING
        • K. Gibson Pitching:
        • A. Hechavarria: Foul, Hechavarria doubled to left
        • M. Smith: Foul, Ball, Smith grounded out to first, Hechavarria to third
        • K. Kiermaier: Ball, Kiermaier hit sacrifice fly to center, Hechavarria scored
        • D. Robertson: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Robertson struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 8th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • C. Hu Pitching:
        • J. Polanco: Strike swinging, Polanco flied out to left
        • W. Astudillo: Strike looking, Foul, Astudillo lined out to center
        • M. Kepler: Kepler lined out to second
        • End of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 7TH INNING
        • K. Gibson Pitching:
        • W. Ramos: Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Ball, Ramos doubled to deep right center
        • J. Choi: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Choi flied out to right
        • C. Cron: Ball, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Cron struck out swinging
        • J. Wendle: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Ball, Wendle lined out to right
        • Middle of the 7th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • C. Hu Pitching:
        • B. Wilson: Ball, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Wilson struck out swinging
        • J. Mauer: Ball, Strike looking, Mauer singled to left
        • E. Rosario: Ball, Ball, Rosario homered to center, Mauer scored
        • B. Dozier: Ball, Ball, Dozier flied out to left
        • R. Grossman: Foul, Grossman grounded out to third
        • End of the 7th (2 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 6TH INNING
        • K. Gibson Pitching:
        • K. Kiermaier: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Kiermaier grounded out to second
        • D. Robertson: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Robertson struck out swinging
        • J. Bauers: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Bauers lined out to right
        • Middle of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • C. Hu Pitching:
        • J. Polanco: Strike looking, Strike looking, Foul tip, Polanco struck out on foul tip
        • W. Astudillo: Foul, Foul, Ball, Astudillo lined out to center
        • M. Kepler: Foul, Kepler safe at first on 3rd baseman Robertson fielding error
        • E. Adrianza: Adrianza popped out to first
        • End of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 1 Error)
      • 5TH INNING
        • K. Gibson Pitching:
        • J. Wendle: Ball, Wendle flied out to deep right
        • A. Hechavarria: Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Hechavarria lined out to center
        • M. Smith: Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Smith struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • C. Hu Pitching:
        • E. Rosario: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Rosario grounded out to second
        • B. Dozier: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Dozier lined out to center
        • R. Grossman: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Grossman grounded out to second
        • End of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 4TH INNING
        • K. Gibson Pitching:
        • J. Bauers: Foul, Ball, Foul, Bauers doubled to deep right center
        • W. Ramos: Ball, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ramos grounded out to first, Bauers to third
        • J. Choi: Ball, Choi popped out to second
        • C. Cron: Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Cron struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 4th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • Chih-Wei Hu relieved Blake Snell
        • E. Adrianza: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Adrianza lined out to left
        • B. Wilson: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Wilson struck out swinging
        • J. Mauer: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Mauer lined out to center
        • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 3RD INNING
        • K. Gibson Pitching:
        • M. Smith: Strike looking, Smith lined out to shortstop
        • K. Kiermaier: Foul, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Ball, Kiermaier flied out to right
        • D. Robertson: Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Robertson struck out looking
        • Middle of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • B. Snell Pitching:
        • E. Rosario: Ball, Rosario lined out to center
        • B. Dozier: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Dozier singled to right center
        • R. Grossman: Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Dozier to second on wild pitch, Grossman doubled to right, Dozier scored
        • J. Polanco: Polanco doubled to left, Grossman scored
        • W. Astudillo: Pickoff attempt, Ball, Ball, Polanco stole third, Foul, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Astudillo struck out swinging
        • M. Kepler: Strike looking, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Kepler grounded out to first
        • End of the 3rd (2 Runs, 3 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 2ND INNING
        • K. Gibson Pitching:
        • C. Cron: Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Cron struck out swinging
        • J. Wendle: Wendle lined out to right
        • A. Hechavarria: Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Hechavarria grounded out to third
        • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • B. Snell Pitching:
        • M. Kepler: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Kepler walked
        • E. Adrianza: Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Adrianza singled to left, Kepler to third
        • B. Wilson: Strike looking, Ball, Wilson grounded into double play shortstop to second to first, Kepler scored, Adrianza out at second
        • J. Mauer: Strike looking, Ball, Mauer flied out to center
        • End of the 2nd (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 1ST INNING
        • K. Gibson Pitching:
        • K. Kiermaier: Kiermaier lined out to center
        • D. Robertson: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Robertson struck out swinging
        • J. Bauers: Foul, Bauers singled to left
        • W. Ramos: Ball, Strike swinging, Ramos reached on an infield single to shortstop, Bauers to second
        • J. Choi: Ball, Bauers to third, Ramos to second on wild pitch, Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Choi struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 1st (0 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • B. Snell Pitching:
        • J. Mauer: Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Mauer grounded out to second
        • E. Rosario: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Rosario reached on an infield single to second
        • B. Dozier: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Dozier walked, Rosario to second
        • R. Grossman: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Rosario to third, Dozier to second on wild pitch, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Grossman walked
        • J. Polanco: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Polanco struck out swinging
        • W. Astudillo: Ball, Astudillo grounded out to pitcher
        • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)