Baseball / Sports

Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Kyle Gibson (44) throws during the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday, June 2, 2014, at Miller Park in Milwaukee. (Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/MCT)

Gibson's strong start fades as Twins fall to Brewers

MILWAUKEE -- Life as a visiting pitcher hasn't treated Kyle Gibson well this season, but it looked like things were going to change Monday.

The Brewers went nine up, nine down over the first three innings and didn't square anything up against Gibson. The young righthander was matching Brewers righthander Matt Garza zero for zero.

Then things fell apart with a bunt in the fourth. A measly bunt. Milwaukee's offense got going and the Brewers went on to hang the latest road loss on Gibson's resume, taking a 6-2 victory at Miller Park.

Gibson gave up four runs over six innings on six hits with no walks and one strikeout. Not a horrible line, but the result of a few mistakes in the middle innings that cost him in the first of four interleague games between the teams.

Gibson fell to 1-4 with a 7.96 ERA in road games. He hasn't won on the road in five starts since beating Cleveland at Progressive Field during the first week of the season.

He entered Monday with a 7.77 ERA on the road, so he failed to lower that number. But he wasn't terrible, either.

Jean Segura led off the fourth with a perfect bunt down the third base line. Gibson fielded the ball but had no throw. A cheesy way to break up a no-hitter? Not in a one-run game. But it was the spark the Brewers needed.

Segura moved to second on Ryan Braun's groundout and scored the first run of the game on Jonathan Lucroy's single to center. Danny Santana, playing center Monday, made an ill-advised throw home and Lucroy took second on that throw. That allowed Lucroy to score when Carlos Gomez followed with another single up the middle. The little things.

Gibson got a double-play ball to end the fourth and had a chance to limit the damage to that inning. Scooter Gennett, however, opened the fifth with a double and Mark Reynolds followed with his team-high 13th homer, an opposite-field blast to right.

The Twins were 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position Monday, and that one hit came in the eighth when Josh Willingham reached first when the gremlins inside third baseman Reynolds' glove wouldn't let go of the ball.

Joe Mauer was 3-for-5 with two doubles -- moving him into sole possession of fifth place on the Twins' career list. But one of the outs he made was a strikeout with runners on second and third to end the fifth.

Garza, a former Twin, wasn't sharp, but neither are the Twins' bats these days. He held the Twins scoreless over 61/3 innings, allowing six hits and two walks while striking out eight. Garza entered Monday with an 8.18 ERA in the first inning. That dropped Monday, after Mauer's one-out double to left was squandered.

Garza, traded by the Twins in 2007 as part of a package for Delmon Young, Brendan Harris and Jason Pridie, won for the first time against the Twins in three starts.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was asked before the game what he remembered about Garza.

"Gas," he said. "He threw absolute gas and was a little raw at the time. Great arm, very competitive, high strung, all those things. But the kind of guy you like to give the ball to. He was going to give you everything he has."

(c)2014 Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

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