The Twins may have lost their spring training game to St. Louis on Wednesday afternoon 3-1, but the game's starting pitcher Kyle Gibson made a strong case to make the Twins pitching rotation.
Gibson scattered four hits, the last of which was hit over the right-field wall for a home run. He threw 45 of his 73 pitches for strikes in his 4 1/3 innings of work. Matt Adams' fifth inning home run was the only mark against Gibson in his fourth appearance of the spring.
Gibson also struck out four and didn't walk a Cardinals hitter.
"Gibson was really good," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He's pitching really well. We really like him. He's dong what he's supposed to do. That's good stuff."
It was a vastly different result than Vance Worley's performance Tuesday night against the Rays, when he was rocked around the yard to the tune of 13 hits, seven runs, and six doubles.
One of the other candidates Sam Deduno, who has had a really strong spring, threw relief in the game and was tagged with the loss. The Cardinals scored two off of Deduno in the eighth inning. It proved to be the difference. Deduno came into the game having allowed only on earned run over 9 2/3 innings pitched, according to the Star Tribune.
Quietly though, Gibson has been posting a solid spring, himself. He has produced a 2.70 ERA in 13.1 innings this spring. Rant Sports reports the 26-year-old power arm is beginning to receive heavy consideration for the job. If he continues to locate his fastball throughout the remainder of March, he could have a chance to toe the rubber for the Twins against the Cleveland Indians on Apr. 5 in the fifth regular season game.
Adams' home run snapped a string of seven shutout innings, according to the Pioneer Press.
The fourth candidate for the final spot in the rotation, Scott Diamond, is expected to start tomorrow against the Rays. He is need of a strong outing. Diamond is out of minor league options, he is coming off a 6-13 record, while posting a 5.43 ERA last season. The spring hasn't been much better for Diamond, he has posted a 5.59 ERA in 9.2 preseason innings this season.