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Gibson on the mound as Twins go for sweep of Red Sox on Thursday

Kepler homer, catch beat Boston and Price 4-1

June 21, 2018 - 4:12 am
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   MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Kyle Gibson is on the mound Thursday afternoon at Target Field as the Twins try to complete a three-game sweep of the Boston Red Sox.

   Robbie Grossman and Max Kepler homered to back an effective start by Lance Lynn as the Twins won Wednesday night 4-1.

   Kepler also made a marvelous diving catch of a line drive by JD Martinez that was at first ruled a trap. Perhaps the shorted video review in its short history overturned the call.

   "The home run was timely," said Twins manager Paul Molitor. "You take the homer, and you take the catch."

   Grossman led off the bottom of the first with a solo home run and Kepler added a two-run shot off Boston starter David Price (8-5). Brian Dozier added a pair of doubles to help Minnesota win for the fourth time in five games.

Kepler hits home run
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   The Twins have now beaten two former Cy Young Award winners in less than a week. They face a third Thursday when Rick Porcello takes the mound for Boston. 

   It was last Friday when the Twins beat Corey Kluber and the Indians in Cleveland.

   In his last start, Porcello (8-3, 3.70 ERA) pitched six innings and gave up four runs in a no-decision at Seattle in his last start.

   Gibson (2-4, 3.27) has allowed five total runs over his last four starts, spanning 26 2/3 innings.

   Lynn (5-5) again struggled with command, issuing five walks, but he surrendered just one unearned run and three hits in five innings.

   Four relievers combined for four scoreless innings with Fernando Rodney securing his 16th save in 19 chances.

   Price allowed the three runs on seven hits and a walk. He had given up just one home run in his previous five starts and seven total in 14 starts this season coming into Wednesday.

   The Red Sox were 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position and are 2 for 22 in the first two games of the series. They've stranded 18 baserunners in the two games and lost for the fourth time in five games.

   Lynn has had an uncharacteristic wild season in his first year with the Twins. He walked at least five batters for the fifth time in 14 starts. But the veteran right-hander has limited the damage and allowed less than three runs in five of his last six starts.

    "Lance, he had to battle," said Molitor. "You try to pitch around five walks in five innings, it's tough to do."

   Boston's lone run scored in the second as Lynn couldn't catch first baseman Logan Morrison's high throw to first for the final out of the inning, allowing Mitch Moreland to score from second base.

   A return to production for Dozier and Kepler would be a boost for Minnesota.

   Dozier had just one extra-base hit in his previous 13 games while hitting .068. His double off the left-field wall in the eighth plated Eddie Rosario.

   Kepler hit his first home run in 22 games and the fifth of his eight this season against left-handed pitching. Kepler was hitting .158 over his previous 21 games with just four RBIs.

   Twins manager Paul Molitor said OF Byron Buxton's first rehab game in Triple-A on Tuesday went well and that his left foot with the broken toe is "in a good place and we haven't said that for about seven weeks or so."

   There is no timetable for Buxton's return.