The Minnesota Twins will go for their third straight victory Wednesday night when they continue their three-game interleague series with the Philadelphia Phillies at Target Field.
Right-hander Kyle Gibson takes the mound for Minnesota, still looking for his first victory of the season. Gibson comes into the game 0-5 with a 6.06 ERA in six starts this season and is 0-2 with a 6.00 ERA in two starts since returning from the disabled list June 11.
He was effective his last time out, holding the Yankees to three runs on six hits and a pair of walks while striking out four over 6 1/3 innings of work — his second-longest outing of the season — and faced the minimum 15 batters through his first five innings of work in a 4-1 Twins loss.
“I felt more like myself a little bit. More like last year and 2014 when I was throwing a little bit better,” Gibson said following that outing. “Hopefully I can keep it going.”
Philadelphia starter Adam Morgan hasn’t fared much better this season. He comes into his 11th start of the year with a 1-6 record and 6.49 ERA. Since allowing just one run over seven innings on May 10, Morgan has gone 0-6 while allowing 34 runs — 31 earned — on 52 hits in 36 2/3 innings of work.
“I feel like I am battling out there and I am going through a rough patch right now but that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and I’m going to get there,” Morgan told the Wilmington (Del.) News-Journal after his last outing, a 10-2 loss to Arizona.
He couldn’t make it out of the fifth in that outing, surrendering seven runs — four earned — on 10 hits but struck out 10 and didn’t walk a batter. With Vince Velasquez getting closer to returning from the disabled list, Morgan’s days in the rotation could be numbered.
“Nobody’s name is carved in stone, nothing’s in ink,” Philadelphia manager Pete Mackinin told the News Journal. “We’re looking for guys that are going to give us consistent at-bats, consistent pitching performances and solid defenders. If you want to win the World Series, you’ve got to have good players. Not mediocre players.”
Minnesota’s 14-10 victory Tuesday night improved the Twins to 5-6 in interleague play this season and 9-7 all-time against Philadelphia, including 6-3 in their last nine meetings dating back to June 19, 2010.
Joe Mauer has hits in 12 of his 13 career games against the Phillies, and is a career .341 hitter (15-for-44) with two doubles, two home runs and 10 RBIs against Philadelphia.
The Phillies, meanwhile, have lost eight games in a row and 11 of their last 12 overall to fall to a season-high 11 games under .500. Since improving to 24-17 on May 18, they have posted the worst winning percentage in baseball (.200) and went from a half-game behind the NL East-leading Nationals to 13 games back.