Gibson, defense help Twins blank White Sox

Minneapolis, MN ( – Kyle Gibson tossed eight scoreless
innings and the Minnesota Twins escaped Glen Perkins’s shaky ninth with a 1-0
victory over the Chicago White Sox on Friday.

The only run the Twins scored came on a Jose Quintana wild pitch, and with the
way Gibson was pitching, it appeared to be enough.

Perkins nearly blew the save, however, giving up a one-out single and a gapper
to left with two down. Emilio Bonifacio, pinch-running for Adam LaRoche, was
held at third base despite Eduardo Escobar bobbling the ball in left field,
and Perkins struck out Tyler Flowers to strand the tying and go-ahead runs.

Gibson (2-2) allowed just four hits and received plenty of Gold Glove-level
defense behind him. He struck out four, walked one and was three outs away
from posting his first career complete game and shutout.

“When I get out there I just try to execute,” Gibson said. “When I do that,
I’m confident.”

The White Sox lost their previous two games by a combined score of 20-4,
including a 12-2 drubbing in the opener of this four-game AL Central series.

Quintana (1-2) was saddled with the loss after giving up one run on six hits
over seven innings.

“He pitched great and gave us a chance,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said
of his starter.

Minnesota put runners in scoring position in the fifth when Kennys Vargas and
Shane Robinson led off with singles. Brian Dozier flew out to deep center for
the second out, and Vargas, who was halfway to third at one point, hustled
back and tug up.

The alert baserunning paid dividends, as Vargas scored the game’s only run
when Quintana’s 1-2 curveball to Torii Hunter bounced past his battery mate.

Hunter, who robbed Conor Gillaspie of an extra-base hit in the top half,
struck out on the next pitch, but Gibson only needed the one run.

The 27-year-old righty worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the second by
getting Tyler Flowers to ground into a double play, then helped his own cause
in the third by pouncing on J.B. Shuck’s bunt down the third-base line.

Joe Mauer helped out his pitcher with a diving stab to record a force out in
the fifth inning, and Trevor Plouffe did the same on the other side of the
diamond in the seventh. There were still runners on the corners following
Plouffe’s run-saving catch, and Gibson stranded them by getting Shuck on a
soft liner to third.

Gibson needed just five pitches to get through the eighth and was pulled even
though he threw just 94 pitches.

Game Notes

Perkins survived for his seventh save … Avisail Garcia’s double in the
second inning was the game’s only extra-base hit … The White Sox fell to 2-9
on the road … Hunter and Vargas each recorded two hits … LaRoche had two
of Chicago’s six hits.