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Gibson gives lift by delivering 6 quality innings

MINNEAPOLIS -- The last time through the Twins' rotation, five starters gave up 36 runs in 15 2/3 innings. So, six solid innings by Kyle Gibson in Tuesday night's 3-2 walk-off win over the Rangers was a welcome sight.

Gibson, normally Minnesota's most reliable option, had struggled himself, entering Tuesday with a 6.52 ERA following the All-Star break. In his previous outing, the right-hander had given up eight runs in 4 2/3 innings.

Gibson wasn't at his best on Tuesday, but he overcame giving up a two-run homer to Elvis Andrus in the second inning to settle in for a quality start, going six innings and receiving a no-decision after back-to-back RBI doubles in the eighth by Joe Mauer and Miguel Sano. Eduardo Escobar's double in the ninth completed the comeback.

"It was nice to actually do my job today and give the team a chance to win," Gibson said. "It's been too many starts in the second half where I haven't given the team a chance."

Video: TEX@MIN: Gibson escapes jam with a double play

In three of his post-break starts, Gibson has given up five or more runs. And so after the last outing, Gibson said he worked with pitching coach Neil Allen in the bullpen on smoothing out his motion and not being so "herky jerky," something which seemed to help on Tuesday.

Gibson was frequently battling out of jams and didn't record a 1-2-3 inning. He said his command wasn't consistent throughout the game, but despite that, he also felt like he was throwing well as the game wore on and could have pitched another inning.

"The beginning was a little bit similar to some of his recent starts where he came out and the ratios weren't great, but the strikes started picking up. I think he got a better feel as the game went on," manager Paul Molitor said. "It was a much-needed six innings. It doesn't sound like a lot, but given what we've come from, it was nice to see him get us deep into the game."

Betsy Helfand is an associate reporter for
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