Gibson's frustration mounts after shaky outing

Twins right-hander allows five earned runs in loss to White Sox

Gibson's frustration mounts after shaky outing

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson might as well feel like he's stuck in his own personal version of "Groundhog Day."

Gibson's frustration is mounting, because he feels that no matter what he does or what adjustments he makes, the results are the same over and over again. Time after time, he feels like he's settled in and has the stuff to go deep into a game, but in the sixth inning, he lets things get away from him. That was once again the story in The Twins' 11-4 loss to the White Sox on Friday night.

"It feels like I've done this interview 12 or 13 times this year, talking about the same stuff over and over again," Gibson said. "And I haven't been able to fix it."

It seems like a switch is flipped in the sixth inning in the majority of Gibson's outings, after which opposing lineups suddenly start to hit him. He knows it happens -- but still can't figure out why, which frustrates him.

In Friday night's loss, Gibson had allowed four runs through the first five innings before he allowed a walk, two singles and an RBI double in rapid succession in the sixth to exit the game after 5 2/3 innings of work, during which he allowed five earned runs and nine hits while striking out just two.

It marked his ninth time this season lasting fewer than six innings and his fifth time in his last six starts that he completed five innings, but not six. The last time he lasted six full innings was on July 28.

"It's been frustrating ever since Atlanta [a complete-game win on Aug. 17], where I thought I'd kind of turned a corner and made an adjustment," Gibson said. "There's been a couple of times this year where I feel like I've been on the verge of kind of figuring something out, and then the big inning happens or a bad start happens."

Gibson's problem on Friday night was that he felt good and thought he settled in but made a few too many mistakes. His first was on a hanging slider in the fourth inning that Todd Frazier launched over the center-field wall. Jose Abreu had two hits off Gibson and was only retired on a stellar running grab in right-center by Byron Buxton.

The right-hander's night ended when Carlos Sanchez took a changeup that he left elevated to deep left field for an RBI ground-rule double in the sixth.

"It seemed like any mistake that I made over the middle and elevated, they hit hard, and that's what good teams are going to do," Gibson said.

"It's been a frustrating run of events here for me, and I'm not saying that I'm going back to the drawing board, but it's to the point where it's, 'Man, I'm working as hard as I can, but I'm not really reaping any benefits of it.'"

Worth noting

• According to manager Paul Molitor, right-handed reliever Michael Tonkin has been dealing with shoulder fatigue and is not expected to pitch through the weekend.

• The Twins' Triple-A affiliate, the Rochester Red Wings, were officially eliminated with a 6-1 loss to Lehigh Valley on Friday night. Molitor said after the game that there's a "good chance" roster moves to bring up more September callups might happen Saturday.

Do-Hyoung Park is a reporter for MLB.com based in Minneapolis. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.