Kyle Gibson returns to the mound as the Minnesota Twins look to extend their winning streak to four games and go for their third sweep of the season when they face the Tigers on Wednesday afternoon at Target Field.
Gibson was roughed up his last time out. He gave up five runs on eight hits and four walks with a pair of home runs and struck out five in an 8-3 loss Friday.
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“Unfortunately the home runs got to me,” Gibson said after Milwaukee bumped his ERA from 3.43 to 3.96. “Ive been doing a better job this year trying to avoid those and keep the ball in the park, and the story of the night is home runs and walks.”
Gibson is 6-7 with a 5.59 ERA in 16 starts versus Detroit.
The Twins have been active on the transaction wire over the last 24 hours. They signed 31-year-old first baseman Chris Carter in a deal with the Angels on Tuesday night, assigning him to Triple-A Rochester. Earlier in the day, recalled outfielder Ryan LaMarre from Rochester after designating right-hander Phil Hughes for assignment.
Hughes had a 6.75 ERA through 12 innings this season. He began the year in the starting rotation but was moved to the bullpen after two unimpressive starts as he struggled to recover from rib surgery.
“Hes worked really hard. Hes been through a lot physically. Hes had to endure a lot of rehabs. We probably saw him at his best his first year over here. Its been a tough road for him since then,” manager Paul Molitor said. “I thanked him for the effort that hes given me and the times hes taken the ball, and I hope something happens in a positive fashion for him moving forward.”
The Tigers are hoping that right-hander Michael Fulmer (1-3, 4.35) reverts to form against the Twins, who have never beaten him in three career meetings.
Hes allowed nine earned runs over 10 2/3 innings in his last two starts, both of which came against the Mariners.
Fulmer got off to a good start his last time out, allowing only two baserunners over his first six innings, but walked two batters to open the seventh and was done after allowing a two-run single later in the inning.
“I just cant seem to figure it out right now,” Fulmer said. “All the work Ive put in, you see glimpses of it and it just falls apart. (That) loss is on me, for sure, because you cant walk two guys in an inning — leadoff guys. I was the one that started the rally. Just happens another ground ball got through the middle. Just frustrates you.”
Hes put in extra effort during his between-starts bullpen sessions, hoping to straighten out any kinks in his delivery.
“Usually by now I would have shaved my beard or got a haircut, or something,” Fulmer said. “But I cant really be frustrated because I feel like my stuff is still there. I know it is. The ball is moving the way I want it to. Im just not commanding the ball in the zone the way I want to.
“I know I can do it. Its just a matter of time. It only takes one good outing.”