"The first one was just a changeup right over the middle and the second one was just a sinker that did more running than sinking," said Gibson, who struck out four. "He took two good swings. But that's the danger with changeups to righties. It can become a BP fastball at 86. He was ready for the inside pitch both times and hit them well."
Pittsburgh opened the scoring in the second inning after Gibson loaded the bases with nobody out. Gibson was able to strike out prospect Austin Meadows and former Twins shortstop Pedro Florimon, but he walked Pirates right-hander Gerrit Cole to bring home a run.
Cole was solid on the mound for the Pirates, giving up two runs on four hits over five innings in his longest outing of the spring.
The Twins got on the board in the third when Eduardo Nunez singled and stole second base before scoring on a double from Shane Robinson. Minnesota tied it up in the fourth on an RBI single from Eduardo Escobar to bring home Kurt Suuzki, who tripled with two outs on a ball misplayed by Meadows in right field. It gave Escobar his team-leading 10th RBI in Grapefruit League play.
The Pirates added an insurance run in the seventh against reliever Michael Tonkin on an RBI single from Josh Harrison, scoring Florimon.
Up next: The Twins have their second split-squad action of the spring on Saturday, as they host the Orioles at Hammond Stadium at 12:05 p.m. CT on MLB.TV and also travel to Port Charlotte to face the Rays at 12:05 p.m. CT on Gameday Audio. Left-hander Tommy Milone is set to start against Baltimore, while right-hander Trevor May is slated to start vs. Tampa Bay. Closer Glen Perkins, who has been out with a mild right oblique strain, is also set to make his Grapefruit League debut against the Orioles.
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.