Garver's homer backs Gibson in Twins' 2-0 win over Royals

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Stepping into the batter's box in the eighth inning, Mitch Garver was thinking home run. So were his teammates, with four players in the dugout predicting Garver would hit one.

Garver knew he had to step out and reset. His teammates sat back and enjoyed their prognostication.

Garver's two-run homer in the eighth inning snapped a scoreless tie, and Kyle Gibson gave up two hits in eight innings in the Minnesota Twins' 2-0 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Friday night.

''As soon as it was off the bat, I was up yelling for it to keep going,'' Gibson said. ''So yeah, that was a pretty exciting moment and the fans got loud. Even (Max) Kepler afterwards said, `Man, this place gets loud, huh?' I was like `Yeah.' When it's sold out and that type of at-bat, the fans let us hear it. That was pretty cool.''

Garver's homer was deep to the berm in center field off Kansas City reliever Jake Diekman (0-4) after Kepler had walked. Minnesota has won 16 of its past 22 games and started a big weekend at Target Field with three expected sellouts and Joe Mauer's number retirement ceremony on Saturday.

Garver came out for a curtain call in front of a sellout crowd that has begun to show up for the first-place Twins. He continued his own breakout season with his career-best 11th home run.

''By far the coolest thing I've ever done on a baseball field, by far,'' Garver said. ''I've never had a curtain call. I've always dreamed. I've watched Joe (Mauer) do them. I've watched (Eddie Rosario) do them. Like, `Man, I want to get one of those one day.'''

Gibson (7-3) struck out six in his longest outing of the season. Taylor Rogers secured his seventh save in nine chances.

Kepler reached base three times but Minnesota's No. 1 offense was stifled by Royals starter Brad Keller. Keller matched Gibson along the way, surrendering just three hits and striking out five.

Keller has quality starts in four of his last five outings and has allowed 11 runs in 36 innings (2.75 ERA) over that span.

''I definitely feel in command of my pitches right now and feel really good with my body,'' Keller said. ''Just try to keep it on a roll.''

Once the Twins got to the Royals' bullpen, Garver finally supplied the power they've enjoyed all season.

''It was like middle up, on the inside corner,'' Diekman said of the pitch. ''That's a terrible spot.''

It was the Minnesota's league-leading 133rd homer and the Twins have a home run in 12 straight games.

BUXTON'S BRUISE

Byron Buxton was hit in the wrist by a pitch from Keller in the sixth inning but stayed in the game. However, Marwin Gonzalez pinch hit for Buxton in the eighth and Buxton was announced out with a right wrist bruise.

The team said Buxton was day to day and manager Rocco Baldelli said ''images'' afterward were negative.

''I got on deck and it's pretty painful to swing on deck,'' Buxton said. ''I've got to try and swing a couple of times and it wasn't feeling too good. I obviously would have had to tell them. But me being how I am, I don't want to come out of the game. It's just one of those things. You've got to put things in perspective.''

ROSTER MOVES

Both teams were active before the game. Kansas City optioned struggling first baseman Ryan O'Hearn to Triple-A Omaha and recalled outfielder Jorge Bonifacio. O'Hearn was hitting .188 in 56 games.

Manager Ned Yost indicated Bonifacio's arrival was because the team is facing a slew of left-handed starters in the next two series and that his appearance will be short-lived with Hunter Dozier close to being activated from the injured list.

Minnesota swapped out right-handed relievers, sending Fernando Romero back to Triple-A and recalling Zack Littell. Baldelli said Littell, mostly a starter in his minor league career, will be used in the bullpen going forward.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Royals: Alex Gordon was in the lineup at designated hitter a game after being hit by a pitch in the shoulder.

Twins: Rogers pitched for the first time since June 6 after dealing with a back injury.

UP NEXT

RHP Jake Odorizzi (9-2, 1.92 ERA) starts for Minnesota in the second game of the three-game series, with Kansas City countering with RHP Glenn Sparkman (1-2, 3.58). Odorizzi has won nine straight decisions, the longest active streak in the majors, and hasn't allowed a run in six of his past seven starts. Sparkman is 1-1 with a 3.15 ERA in four games as a starter this season.

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Copyright 2019 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

123456789RHE
KC22-47
000000000021
MIN46-22
00000002X240
  • W: K. Gibson (7-3)L: J. Diekman (0-4)S: T. Rogers (7)
  • HR: MIN - M. Garver (11)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
W. Merrifield 2B40100001.294.343.479.8221.0
N. Lopez SS30000011.210.252.305.557-0.5
A. Gordon DH30000010.271.351.471.822-0.5
J. Soler RF10000010.244.296.508.804-0.5
a- T. Gore PH-RF20000010.273.347.341.688-0.5
L. Duda 1B30000020.163.288.306.594-1.0
C. Cuthbert 3B30000000.311.354.556.9100.0
J. Bonifacio LF30000000.000.000.000.0000.0
C. Gallagher C30000010.174.216.188.405-0.5
B. Hamilton CF30100000.228.306.283.5881.0
B. Keller P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
J. Diekman P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
  • a-struck out for Soler in the 5th
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
M. Kepler RF-CF21100200.265.348.538.8873.0
J. Polanco DH30000114.335.395.563.9570.5
M. Garver C41121013.318.405.6911.0966.5
E. Rosario LF40000013.263.296.525.821-0.5
C. Cron 1B30000020.271.333.533.867-1.0
M. Sano 3B20000110.240.326.573.8990.5
E. Adrianza SS30200000.287.378.426.8042.0
J. Schoop 2B30000004.248.302.482.7840.0
B. Buxton CF10000000.266.324.527.8511.0
a- M. Gonzalez PH-RF10000000.258.326.419.7460.0
K. Gibson P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
T. Rogers P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
  • a-lined out for Buxton in the 8th
BATTING
  • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - W. Merrifield
BATTING
  • HR - M. Garver (11)
  • RBI - M. Garver 2 (28)
  • 2-Out RBI - M. Garver 2 (10)
  • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - E. Rosario 3 (3)
BASERUNNING
  • CS - M. Kepler (4)
FIELDING
  • DP - 2 (Cuthbert-Merrifield-Duda; Cuthbert-Merrifield-Duda)
  • E - C. Cuthbert (2)
FIELDING
  • DP - (Adrianza-Schoop-Cron)
PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
B. Keller7.03003503.971.3420.5
J. Diekman (L, 0-4)1.01221114.761.20-5.5
PITCHERSIP
B. Keller7.0
J. Diekman (L, 0-4)1.0
PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
K. Gibson (W, 7-3)8.02000603.701.1735.0
T. Rogers (S, 7)1.00000102.171.1710.5
PITCHERSIP
K. Gibson (W, 7-3)8.0
T. Rogers (S, 7)1.0
PITCHING
  • HBP - B. Keller (8)
  • Pitches-Strikes - B. Keller 97-56, J. Diekman 20-11
  • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - B. Keller 6-8
  • Batters Faced - B. Keller 26, J. Diekman 5
PITCHING
  • WP - K. Gibson (4)
  • Pitches-Strikes - K. Gibson 88-55, T. Rogers 10-7
  • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - K. Gibson 12-5, T. Rogers 1-1
  • Batters Faced - K. Gibson 25, T. Rogers 3
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
123456789RHE
KC22-47
000000000021
MIN46-22
00000002X240
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
W. Merrifield 2B40100001.294.343.479.8221.0
N. Lopez SS30000011.210.252.305.557-0.5
A. Gordon DH30000010.271.351.471.822-0.5
J. Soler RF10000010.244.296.508.804-0.5
a- T. Gore PH-RF20000010.273.347.341.688-0.5
L. Duda 1B30000020.163.288.306.594-1.0
C. Cuthbert 3B30000000.311.354.556.9100.0
J. Bonifacio LF30000000.000.000.000.0000.0
C. Gallagher C30000010.174.216.188.405-0.5
B. Hamilton CF30100000.228.306.283.5881.0
B. Keller P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
J. Diekman P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
Total280200072-----
  • a-struck out for Soler in the 5th
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
M. Kepler RF-CF21100200.265.348.538.8873.0
J. Polanco DH30000114.335.395.563.9570.5
M. Garver C41121013.318.405.6911.0966.5
E. Rosario LF40000013.263.296.525.821-0.5
C. Cron 1B30000020.271.333.533.867-1.0
M. Sano 3B20000110.240.326.573.8990.5
E. Adrianza SS30200000.287.378.426.8042.0
J. Schoop 2B30000004.248.302.482.7840.0
B. Buxton CF10000000.266.324.527.8511.0
a- M. Gonzalez PH-RF10000000.258.326.419.7460.0
K. Gibson P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
T. Rogers P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
Total2624214614-----
  • a-lined out for Buxton in the 8th
BATTING
  • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - W. Merrifield
BATTING
  • HR - M. Garver (11)
  • RBI - M. Garver 2 (28)
  • 2-Out RBI - M. Garver 2 (10)
  • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - E. Rosario 3 (3)
BASERUNNING
  • CS - M. Kepler (4)
FIELDING
  • DP - 2 (Cuthbert-Merrifield-Duda; Cuthbert-Merrifield-Duda)
  • E - C. Cuthbert (2)
FIELDING
  • DP - (Adrianza-Schoop-Cron)
PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
B. Keller7.03003503.971.3420.5
J. Diekman (L, 0-4)1.01221114.761.20-5.5
Total8.0422461---
PITCHERSIP
B. Keller7.0
J. Diekman (L, 0-4)1.0
Total8.0
PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
K. Gibson (W, 7-3)8.02000603.701.1735.0
T. Rogers (S, 7)1.00000102.171.1710.5
Total9.0200070---
PITCHERSIP
K. Gibson (W, 7-3)8.0
T. Rogers (S, 7)1.0
Total9.0
PITCHING
  • HBP - B. Keller (8)
  • Pitches-Strikes - B. Keller 97-56, J. Diekman 20-11
  • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - B. Keller 6-8
  • Batters Faced - B. Keller 26, J. Diekman 5
PITCHING
  • WP - K. Gibson (4)
  • Pitches-Strikes - K. Gibson 88-55, T. Rogers 10-7
  • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - K. Gibson 12-5, T. Rogers 1-1
  • Batters Faced - K. Gibson 25, T. Rogers 3
  • 8TH INNING
    Garver homered to center, Kepler scored02
  • 9TH INNING
    • Taylor Rogers relieved Kyle Gibson
    • C. Gallagher: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Gallagher struck out looking
    • B. Hamilton: Strike looking, Ball, Hamilton flied out to deep left
    • W. Merrifield: Merrifield grounded out to third
    • Middle of the 9th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
  • 8TH INNING
    • K. Gibson Pitching:
    • L. Duda: Foul, Ball, Strike (foul tip), Strike swinging, Duda struck out swinging
    • C. Cuthbert: Ball, Cuthbert lined out to center
    • J. Bonifacio: Ball, Bonifacio grounded out to third
    • Middle of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
    • Jake Diekman relieved Brad Keller
    • Marwin Gonzalez hit for Byron Buxton
    • M. Gonzalez: Strike swinging, Strike looking, Ball, Gonzalez lined out to right
    • M. Kepler: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Kepler walked
    • J. Polanco: Pickoff attempt, Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Polanco lined out to left
    • M. Garver: Ball, Strike looking, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Garver homered to center, Kepler scored
    • E. Rosario: Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Rosario struck out swinging
    • End of the 8th (2 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
  • 7TH INNING
    • K. Gibson Pitching:
    • N. Lopez: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Lopez grounded out to second
    • A. Gordon: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Gordon struck out swinging
    • T. Gore: Ball, Strike looking, Gore grounded out to third
    • Middle of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
    • B. Keller Pitching:
    • C. Cron: Foul, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Cron struck out looking
    • M. Sano: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Sano walked
    • E. Adrianza: Ball, Foul, Adrianza singled to right, Sano to second
    • J. Schoop: Ball, Foul, Ball, Schoop grounded into double play third to second to first, Adrianza out at second
    • End of the 7th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
  • 6TH INNING
    • K. Gibson Pitching:
    • J. Bonifacio: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Bonifacio grounded out to shortstop
    • C. Gallagher: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Gallagher grounded out to shortstop
    • B. Hamilton: Strike looking, Hamilton singled to left
    • W. Merrifield: Pickoff attempt, Ball, Hamilton to second on wild pitch, Strike looking, Ball, Merrifield flied out to deep center
    • Middle of the 6th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
    • B. Keller Pitching:
    • B. Buxton: Strike looking, Ball, Buxton hit by pitch
    • M. Kepler: Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Kepler walked, Buxton to second
    • J. Polanco: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Polanco struck out swinging
    • M. Garver: Ball, Garver flied out to left, Buxton to third
    • E. Rosario: Ball, Strike (foul tip), Rosario flied out to center
    • End of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
  • 5TH INNING
    • K. Gibson Pitching:
    • J. Soler: Strike looking
    • Gore struck out swinging
    • L. Duda: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Duda grounded out to first
    • C. Cuthbert: Ball, Cuthbert flied out to left
    • Middle of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
    • B. Keller Pitching:
    • C. Cron: Strike looking, Cron grounded out to shortstop
    • M. Sano: Ball, Foul, Ball, Sano safe at first on 3rd baseman Cuthbert fielding error
    • E. Adrianza: Ball, Ball, Foul, Adrianza reached on an infield single to shortstop, Sano to second
    • J. Schoop: Schoop grounded into double play third to second to first, Adrianza out at second
    • End of the 5th (0 Runs, 2 Hits, 1 Error)
  • 4TH INNING
    • K. Gibson Pitching:
    • W. Merrifield: Merrifield singled to left
    • N. Lopez: Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Lopez grounded into double play shortstop to second to first, Merrifield out at second
    • A. Gordon: Foul, Ball, Gordon grounded out to pitcher
    • Middle of the 4th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
    • B. Keller Pitching:
    • M. Kepler: Ball, Kepler popped out to second
    • J. Polanco: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Polanco walked
    • M. Garver: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Garver flied out to shallow center
    • E. Rosario: Rosario grounded out to second
    • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
  • 3RD INNING
    • K. Gibson Pitching:
    • J. Bonifacio: Strike looking, Bonifacio grounded out to shortstop
    • C. Gallagher: Ball, Foul, Gallagher fouled out to first
    • B. Hamilton: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Hamilton lined out to pitcher
    • Middle of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
    • B. Keller Pitching:
    • E. Adrianza: Ball, Adrianza popped out to second
    • J. Schoop: Foul, Schoop lined out to right
    • B. Buxton: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Buxton lined out to second
    • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
  • 2ND INNING
    • K. Gibson Pitching:
    • J. Soler: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Soler struck out swinging
    • L. Duda: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Duda struck out swinging
    • C. Cuthbert: Cuthbert flied out to left
    • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
    • B. Keller Pitching:
    • E. Rosario: Strike looking, Rosario grounded out to second
    • C. Cron: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Cron struck out swinging
    • M. Sano: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike looking, Sano struck out looking
    • End of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
  • 1ST INNING
    • K. Gibson Pitching:
    • W. Merrifield: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Merrifield grounded out to third
    • N. Lopez: Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Lopez struck out looking
    • A. Gordon: Ball, Ball, Foul, Gordon grounded out to first
    • Middle of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
    • B. Keller Pitching:
    • M. Kepler: Foul, Foul, Ball, Kepler singled to left center
    • J. Polanco: Ball, Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Foul, Polanco flied out to left
    • M. Garver: Strike looking, Ball, Kepler caught stealing second, catcher to second, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Garver struck out swinging
    • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)