David Phelps hopes to bounce back from a horrific showing in his last start when the New York Yankees try to secure a series win in the finale of a four-game set with the Minnesota Twins on Thursday at Target Field.
Phelps couldn't get out of the third inning on Saturday in Baltimore, as the Orioles rocked him for nine runs and nine hits in just 2 1/3 frames, dropping him to 5-5 on the year, while ballooning his ERA nearly a run to 4.95.
"Regardless of what point in the game you come out, if you give up nine runs, it's going to be agonizing," Phelps said of his awful performance. "Knowing you went out and didn't really give the team a chance to win is probably the worst part of it."
Minnesota, meanwhile, will counter with highly touted pitching prospect, Kyle Gibson, who beat Kansas City in his big league debut Saturday. Gibson allowed just two runs and eight hits in six innings of that one. He also struck out five without walking a batter.
"I thought he handled it well," Twins general manager Terry Ryan told the team's website. "A lot of attention. Certainly, expectations were high. He handled the pace well. He threw strikes, kept the game moving and, most important, we won that baseball game. We're not looking for moral victories. We want to win the game."
Gibson will have his work cut out for him on Thursday, as he tries to slow down the red-hot Robinson Cano, who is 7-for-11 with three homers and eight RBI so far in this series.
Cano produced his sixth straight multi-hit game and it was his two-run double that keyed a three-run sixth inning for New York on Wednesday, while CC Sabathia picked up his 200th career win in Yankees' 3-2 triumph.
Sabathia (9-6) gave up seven hits and two runs, but had nine strikeouts over seven innings to continue his domination of the Twins. He is unbeaten in his last 12 regular season and postseason starts combined against Minnesota, going 11-0 in that stretch.
"He had to really grind this one out," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "I didn't think his slider was as good as it's been, but he found a way to get it done. It's fun to watch a guy compete like that every time he goes out there."
Mariano Rivera worked around a one-out single in the ninth for his 28th save of the year.
Trevor Plouffe homered and Joe Mauer doubled in a run for the Twins, who dropped their fourth in a row.
"Our situational hitting wasn't very good tonight. Sabathia can do that to you," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.
P.J. Walters (2-5) allowed four hits and three runs over five-plus innings.
New York won four of its seven matchups with the Twins last season.