Kyle Gibson allowed just one run over eight innings to lead the Twins to a 5-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays Thursday night at Target Field.
The game didn't begin until after 9 p.m. because of a lengthy rain delay, but fans who stayed up late got to see one of Gibson's best starts of the season. The right-hander struck out nine and allowed just five hits. It's the first time he's gone eight innings since September 2016.
Offensively, Eddie Rosario led the Twins with two hits including his 19th homer of the season, a solo shot to right-center to give the Twins a 4-0 lead in the seventh inning.
Gibson a trade candidate?
Gibson now has a 3.42 ERA and has been consistently good dating back to the second half of last season, meaning he could be an appealing trade target for contenders looking for pitching.
"Our job, just like last year, is to make the decisions tough on the front office," Gibson said after the game, according to TwinsBaseball.com. "We want to get them to give us as much time as possible to get a lead in the division. I feel like coming out of the All-Star break, we have a really good chance to be one or two games back and really make those decisions tough on them."
Gibson's name popping up in trade talks comes on the heels of Brian Dozier and Eduardo Escobar being floated in the rumor mill earlier this week.
At 42-49, the Twins are back within 7 1/2 games of Cleveland in the AL Central race. They have three more games (Friday-Sunday) against the Rays and then they get a week off for the All-Star break.
The trade deadline is July 31.