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New delivery paying dividends for Gibson

Twins righty tosses 5 scoreless innings, empathizes with May's misfortune
MLB.com @RhettBollinger

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- With the news that fifth-starter candidate Trevor May was diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament that could lead to season-ending Tommy John surgery, the Twins will lean even heavier on veterans such as Kyle Gibson, Hector Santiago and Phil Hughes to bounce back this season.

Gibson continued his strong spring, tossing five scoreless innings in the Twins' 13-0 win over the Red Sox on Saturday at Hammond Stadium. Gibson, who lowered his ERA to 2.19, scattered four hits and a walk with four strikeouts, but he was more excited about the way his revamped delivery feels than the results.

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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- With the news that fifth-starter candidate Trevor May was diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament that could lead to season-ending Tommy John surgery, the Twins will lean even heavier on veterans such as Kyle Gibson, Hector Santiago and Phil Hughes to bounce back this season.

Gibson continued his strong spring, tossing five scoreless innings in the Twins' 13-0 win over the Red Sox on Saturday at Hammond Stadium. Gibson, who lowered his ERA to 2.19, scattered four hits and a walk with four strikeouts, but he was more excited about the way his revamped delivery feels than the results.

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"It's a good feeling to have things moving the way you want to move and the ball coming out the way you want," Gibson said. "The last two starts have been a lot better. I felt like I got away from it, but I feel like the last two starts I made that adjustment."

Gibson, who has worked with weighted balls and a balloon-shaped connection ball that rests on his shoulder while throwing between starts, said he's already starting to see the benefits of his new throwing motion. The sinkerballer didn't allow a ball hit into the air until the fifth inning, which was a sign that his ball is moving.

"One thing I was kinda worried about was if my ball was still going to sink," Gibson said. "As you get more of what you call a late launch, your arm gets into better position to get a better or later sink."

Gibson, though, acknowledged it was a tough day in the clubhouse with the news about May, especially considering Gibson underwent the operation himself, missing the 2012 season.

"I feel bad for the guy, having gone through it and knowing what it entails," Gibson said. "As a rotation, you feel like you're a group that works together, and it's tough to hear. It's tough. He was throwing really well and was excited about having that chance to be in the rotation."

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast.

Minnesota Twins, Kyle Gibson