Minneapolis, MN – Kyle Gibson probably couldn't have imagined a better way for his major league debut to unfold.
Staked to a sizeable lead early, the 25-year-old right-hander tossed six solid innings as the Minnesota Twins posted a 6-2 victory over the Kansas City Royals at Target Field.
Gibson (1-0), taken by the Twins in the first round (22nd overall) of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, watched his teammates put up a five-spot in the first inning against Kansas City's Wade Davis.
"It was an amazing day, really," Gibson said. "I was really nervous the last couple days leading up to it and was able to calm my nerves somehow."
Davis (4-6) was shaky from the outset, issuing consecutive one-out walks before a double by Justin Morneau brought both runners home. Trevor Plouffe followed with a homer to left-center field, and Pedro Florimon added a run- scoring single with two outs off Davis, who needed 53 pitches to complete the disastrous frame.
"Just off. No release point at all," Davis admitted. "I was trying to throw it down the middle of the plate and it was running off. Just one that I'm going to forget, real quick."
Davis returned to the mound for the second, but was removed after Minnesota loaded the bases with no outs. Command again was a problem for the righty as Joe Mauer and Morneau each walked after Brian Dozier singled to begin the inning.
Will Smith escaped the bases-loaded jam with only minimal damage, getting Oswaldo Arcia to ground into an inning-ending double play after a Plouffe sacrifice fly.
Smith did a tremendous job silencing the Twins over five innings of relief and giving the Royals an opportunity to chip away at the deficit. A comeback was not in the cards, however.
Kansas City did get to Gibson for two third-inning runs. Four of the eight hits the Royals mustered against the rookie came in the frame, with Alcides Escobar and Salvador Perez each collecting an RBI.
The Royals threatened to further close the gap, loading the bases with one out in the eighth, but Casey Fien fanned Lorenzo Cain and Miguel Tejada to thwart the rally.
Gibson, who had five strikeouts and no walks, was 7-5 with a 3.01 ERA in 15 starts at Triple-A Rochester ... Davis had not allowed an earned run in two previous starts this season against the Twins. He suffered his first loss in nine career games versus Minnesota ... The Twins had been outscored in the first inning this year by a 74-39 margin ... Plouffe extended his hitting streak to 11 games ... Kansas City finished 3-for-12 with runners in scoring position ... The Royals designated outfielder Jeff Francoeur for assignment following the game and recalled infielder Johnny Giavotella from Triple-A Omaha.