Kepler, Wilson lead Twins rally over O's, 5-4
MINNEAPOLIS — The Saturday battery finally gave the Twins a charge on Saturday, July 7.
Catcher Bobby Wilson drove in three runs, and starter Kyle Gibson survived a shaky start as the Twins beat the fading Baltimore Orioles 5-4 at Target Field.
Minnesota will try to sweep the four-game series against the worst team in baseball in a 1:10 p.m. start on Sunday. The Orioles (24-64) fell 40 games under .500.
Gibson (3-6) gave up three first-inning runs on an RBI groundout and a two-run home run by Chris Davis but recovered to pitch seven innings for his first win since June 16 at Cleveland. He gave up four hits, walked three and struck out nine while lowering his earned-run average to 3.59.
“You try not to let one swing or a couple of batters get you out of your game plan,” Gibson said. “I felt like … we had a good game plan. Sometimes when you give up a few runs early, it kind of pushes you out of your game plan. But you’ve got to have conviction in it.”
Wilson, the No. 9 hitter who started the day hitting .114 in 28 games, broke a 3-3 tie with a bases-loaded double that scored Max Kepler and Robbie Grossman in the sixth inning. He drove in Grossman with a single in a three-run fifth that started with a Kepler home run, his 10th of the season.
Wilson, who hit a combined .240 with six doubles, seven homers and 31 runs batted in in 70 games with Texas and Tampa Bay the previous two seasons, said he has been “really getting after it the last week” with batting coach James Rowson.
“Obviously with the struggles offensively, it’s kind of a grind, and I have been trying to work my way out of it,” Wilson said. “We have been doing some things the last few days, and I’ve felt better. Obviously, the staff and everybody here, everyone wants to help. Everybody is trying.”
Fernando Rodney gave up a ninth-inning run on a double by No. 9 hitter Jace Peterson but got leadoff hitter Tim Beckham to ground out to short to end the game and earn his 19th save, his second in a row after blowing his previous two chances against the White Sox and Brewers.
It was Minnesota’s third straight win to start an 11-game homestand after finishing a three-series road trip through Chicago and Milwaukee 1-8.
“We have one goal, winning, so a big part is the support from everybody,” Wilson said. “Postgame, we talked about staying together, loving each other, supporting each other. And that is what is going to help us turn this corner.”