Minnesota Twins at Toronto Blue Jays
When and Where: Wednesday, May 8, Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ont., 7:07 p.m. EDT.
Still searching for his first major league win but clearly on the verge of it after his last two starts, Trent Thornton tries again Wednesday night when the Toronto Blue Jays complete a three-game series versus the Minnesota Twins.
Gibson undone by defense last time out
Kyle Gibson (2-1, 4.68 ERA) did not have his best stuff last time out, but he also failed to get any help from his defense in the Bronx on Friday night versus the New York Yankees.
— Kyle Gibson (@kgib44) May 6, 2019
Gibson was reached for five runs — only two of them earned — and seven hits in five innings of a 6-3 defeat to the New York Yankees as he was denied a third straight winning start.
“Every now and then it just seems like a couple bounces seem like they don’t go our way,” Gibson told the Star Tribune. “It’s part of being here. They play well at home, and it is a fun place to play. Especially when they are winning. Just kind of how it goes sometimes.”
Gibson had a mixed outing against the Blue Jays at home April 16, breezing through the first five innings before allowing all four runs in the sixth. The Twins bailed him out of a loss by rallying to tie the game in an eventual 6-5 loss. The righty is 3-1 with a 5.01 ERA in eight lifetime starts versus Toronto, including 1-1 with a 7.56 ERA in three outings north of the border. Blue Jays hitters, though, are hitting Gibson at a .343 clip at Rogers Centre.
Thornton hoping for any type of offensive support
Thornton (0-3, 4.08) has sliced nearly two runs off his earned run average in his last two starts, during which he has conceded just one run and three hits in 12 innings.
The #BlueJays won a 12 inning marathon last night against the #Rangers.@bnicholsonsmith joins #SNToday with @WongSN590 and @SamAMcKee to talk Trent Thornton's performance and give some clarity to the team's pitching situation!
— Sportsnet 590 The FAN (@FAN590) May 4, 2019
The right-hander did well to match zeroes with Rangers starter Mike Minor in Texas on Friday night, allowing only a fifth-inning single and two walks in seven innings of Toronto’s eventual 1-0, 12-inning victory.
“My attack plan early was to get ahead and I didn’t do that as early as I wanted to,” Thornton told the team’s official website. “But I attacked with my fastball, made sure I could throw my offspeed for strikes and that helped me for the rest of the game. They had to honor my curveball and that helped my fastball. I felt pretty good.”
What also would make Thornton feel good is run support. The Blue Jays have backed him with a major league-low 1.27 runs per game in his seven starts and have given him just five runs to work with in 35 1-3 innings.
This will be the first time Thornton faces a team for the second time and has already lost to Minnesota. The righty was reached for four runs and six hits with three walks in 4 2-3 innings of a 4-1 defeat April 17. Nelson Cruz got two of those hits, including a double, in his two at-bats.
The Twins are:
- 9-2 in their last 11 games vs. AL East opponents.
- 19-5 in their last 24 games vs. sub-.500 teams.
- 4-0 in Gibson’s last four starts during game 3 of a series.
The Blue Jays are:
- 1-7 in their last eight games.
- 2-5 in Thornton’s last seven starts.
- 12-32 in their last 44 games vs. above-.600 teams.