On The Pond Daily (6/29): Kyle Gibson Debuts as Starters Shine Throughout

On Saturday, June 29th the pitching showed up in force throughout the Minnesota Twins system. Rather fitting given that Kyle Gibson was making his major league debut at Target Field. The organization finished the day with an unspectacular 4-3 record, however, they allowed a total of just 15 runs in those seven games.

Saturday marked the start of the Gibson era for the Twins. (Photo Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports)

Minnesota Twins (36-41): 6-2 win over Kansas City (37-41)

RHP Kyle Gibson won his debut allowing eight hits, zero walks and two runs in 6.0 innings of work. He threw 91 pitches – 64 of them for strikes – while retiring five batters by way of the punch out. The Twins bats did their part to help take the pressure off Gibson with five runs in the bottom of the first and another run in the bottom of the second. Staked to a 6-0 lead Gibson was able to cruise facing just four batters in four of his innings and sent the Royals down 1-2-3 in his 6th and final frame for the day. The only inning KC was able to mount any sort of threat to the young rookie right-hander was in the top of the third when they scored both their runs on four hits.

Justin Morneau (2-3) and Trevor Plouffe (1-3) drove in five of the six runs between the two of them and had the team’s only extra-base hits. Each also scored a run and struck out. Morneau hit his 22nd double of the season and fourth in three games. Plouffe’s XBH was a 2-run first inning HR off Wade Davis. It was his 6th long ball of the season and extended his hit streak to 11 games in the process.

Rochester Red Wings (41-43): 1-0 loss to Syracuse (32-49)

If LHP Pedro Martinez was upset he got bumped back to Triple-A after making an emergency start for the Twins last weekend, it sure didn’t translate in his results. He threw an 8.0 inning complete game while giving up five hits and one earned run. He walked two and struck out three but despite holding the Chiefs to a single, solitary run he took the loss.

Hernandez was good but three Syracuse hurlers were even better allowing just three Red Wings hits in the shutout. DH Jeff Clement (1-4) and SS Doug Bernier (2-3) each had a double in the game.

New Britain Rock Cats (39-42): 5-0 win over Reading (34-46)

Roughed up by Altoona in his previous start on the 24th, lefty Pat Dean bounced back in a big way tossing a complete game, 5-hit shutout on Saturday. In the process of throwing his second CG in 16 starts this season he struck out five and walked two.

3B Miguel Sano went 1-4 with a double pushing his streak of consecutive games with an extra-base hit to five. LF Nate Hanson (2-4, 2 R, 2B, RBI), DH Josmil Pinto (2-4, 2B, 3 RBI), C Kyle Knudson (2-4, 2B, RBI) and CF Angel Morales (2-4, SO) each had multiple hits in the game. Of those four Morales is the only one that isn’t hitting above 0.300 in his last 10 games.

Fort Myers Miracle (49-27): 12-2 win over St. Lucie (41-36)

St Lucie scored a pair of runs (only one earned) in the top of the 1st off lefty Matt Tomshaw but he slammed the door shut after that. All told he allowed seven hits and two walks while striking out three in 8.0 innings of work. LHP Nelvin Fuentes struck out the side in the 9th inning to finish out the game.

As a group the Miracle were 16-39 at the plate with three walks. Every member of the lineup reached base and all but Mike Kvasnicka (who walked) did so by getting a hit. 2B Levi Michael (2-3, 2 R, RBI) was back in action after missing 10 games due to a collision with SS Aderlin Mejia (2-5, 2 R, RBI, SO). C Matt Koch (2-5, R, RBI), 3B Stephen Wickens (2-4, 2 R, BB) and Byron Buxton (2-5, R, RBI, SO) joined the middle infielders with two hits apiece.

Multi-hit games were prevalent up and down the lineup but LF Jhon Goncalves had the best performance of any hitter in the organization on Saturday. In five trips to the plate he was a perfect 4-4 with a walk, scored twice, hit three doubles, drove in five runs and stole a base for good measure.

Cedar Rapids Kernels (49-28): 2-1 win over Peoria (42-34) in 10 innings

On a day filled with outstanding pitching performances, lefty Brett Lee had the start of the day. He allowed one unearned run on four hits in 8.0 innings of work. He struck out nine and didn’t issue a walk while turning in his best start of the season (81 GSc).

Lee was backed by two of the bigger names on the Kernels roster. RF Adam Walker went 2-3 with a double, two walks and a stolen base. He also scored both of the team’s runs with the 10th inning game winner coming by way of a wild pitch. Max Kepler wasn’t quite as good as Walker but was 1-4 with a 2B, RBI, BB and 2 SO in the game.

Elizabethton Twins (8-2): 5-4 loss to Kingsport (3-7)

Continuing the well established trend, LHP Hein Robb threw 5.0 innings of shutout ball for the E-Twins. He allowed three hits, one walk and struck out four. When he left the game both teams were still searching for their first run. The E-Twins hung 4 runs on the board in the top of the 8th to take the lead but the bullpen was unable to make it stand up. Kingsport scored a pair in the bottom of the 8th and three more in the bottom of the ninth to snatch the game away.

Elizabethton scored four runs but did so with just five hits in the game. Three of those five came off the bat of 3B Bryan Haar (3-4, RBI) who hit his first double and second triple of the season. LF Kelvin Ortiz (1-4, R, 2 RBI) also hit a double, his second of the year. CF Zach Granite went 0-3 from the leadoff slot but drew a walk, stole two bases and scored a run.

GCL Twins (4-4): 4-3 loss to the GCL Red Sox (5-3)

Making a rehab start in the GCL, after being assigned there via Fort Myers, veteran RHP Kyle Davies got in on the day of success for Twins starters on Saturday. Davies twirled 5.0 shutout innings allowing just two hits and one walk while striking out seven.

1B Jorge Fernandez (2-4, 2 2B, RBI)

DSL Twins (12-10): Results not listed

Transactions (6/29):

RHP Ryan Eades assigned to Elizabethton
C Bo Altobelli placed on the 7-day disabled list by Elizabethton

Transactions (6/28):

OF Frank Encarnacion assigned to the DSL Twins
RHP Bruce Pugh activated from the 7-day disabled list by New Britain
RHP Bobby Lanigan released by New Britain

Topics: Cedar Rapids Kernels, DSL Twins, Elizabethton Twins, Fort Myers Miracle, GCL Twins, Minnesota Twins, New Britain Rock Cats, Rochester Red Wings

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