Brad Keller and Kyle Gibson battled for seven scoreless innings. Ned Yost felt he needed to take Keller out of the game at 97 pitches instead of letting him battle in this classic pitching duel. Keller looked strong. He had only allowed three hits and three walks to go with five strikeouts.
Kyle Gibson was even better. Gibson allowed just two hits to go with six strikeouts in his eight innings. Gibson got through eight innings on 88 pitches. He was allowed to go one more inning than Keller.
The game remained scoreless until the bottom of the eighth when Jake Diekman was put into the game for Keller. Diekman got Marwin Gonzalez to line out to Terrance Gore in right field for the first out. The ball was hit hard but Gore was able to run it down. Diekman then walked Max Kepler. Jorge Polanco then lined out to left field. The Twins were clearly hitting the ball well off of Diekman but it looked like Diekman might be able to get out of the inning without allowing a run. But often the third out is the toughest and it proved true in this inning. Mitch Garver then hit a home run to center to give the Twins a 2-0 lead.
That was all the Twins needed in this one. The Royals managed to get just two hits. Whit Merrifield and Billy Hamilton each singled. That was it. The offense couldn’t do anything else against a pitcher who allowed five runs on eight hits in his previous start in Detroit. Gibson has pitched pretty well this season but the Royals made him look like a Cy Young contender.