Kyle Gibson pitched eight shutout innings and the Twins got the home run they needed from Mitch Garver late in the game to beat the Royals 2-0 Friday night at Target Field.
Deadlocked 0-0 in the bottom of the eighth, Mitch Garver predicted he would hit a homer and he did just that: "Right before that pitch, I got into my own head," Garver said, via the team's website. "I was like, ‘I’m going to hit a home run here.’"
Not a bad call by the 28-year-old catcher, who's hitting .318 with 11 homers and a team-leading 1.096 OPS (on-base + slugging percentages).
Taylor Rogers needed just 10 pitches for a 1-2-3 ninth inning and the save as the Twins improved to 46-22. Minnesota's .676 winning percentage is the best in the MLB.
Buxton leaves after being hit by pitch
The Twins got a scare in the sixth inning when Byron Buxton was hit in the right wrist by a 92 mph fastball. Buxton stayed in the game but was removed in the eighth inning because it was too painful to swing a bat.
"Not too worried," Buxton said afterwards. "I could feel my fingers, so that was the good part. Obviously, I came out. Didn't want to come out. It's just one of those things. My teammates got my back and we went out there and got it done. It's painful. It's very painful."
Buxton should be considered day-to-day until some official comes from the Twins.
The Twins and Royals play Saturday at 6:10 p.m. and before the game, the Twins will retire Joe Mauer's No. 7.