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    After earning a victory for the first time in 12 starts in his last outing Josh Jackson Color Rush Jersey , Minnesota Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson will try to make it two in a row Thursday afternoon as the Twins look to finish off a three-game sweep of the Boston Red Sox at Target Field in Minneapolis.

    Gibson (2-4, 3.27 ERA) threw six shutout innings to earn the win against Baltimore in his season debut but was 0-4 over his next 12 starts despite posting a 3.75 ERA during that stretch as the Twins’ offense struggled to generate run support.

    He finally snapped the drought last week, outdueling Cleveland ace Corey Kluber by holding the Indians to a run over seven innings.

    “There’s no complaints around here about how Gibby’s been throwing the ball,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “Can’t explain some things that happen. For him to go whatever it was, 10 or 11 weeks, as well as he’s been pitching. But we backed him up a little bit, got to a tough pitcher.”

    Gibson is 1-2 with a 3.08 ERA in four career starts against Boston.

    How Molitor plans to protect any lead Gibson and the lineup can generate remains to be seen.

    Molitor has been rotating relievers through late-inning roles after Addison Reed was removed from the setup role to get the right-hander back on track.

    Reed has pitched just once since June 10, with right-handers Trevor Hildenberger and Ryan Pressly and left-handers Zach Duke and Taylor Rogers expected to get a chance to bridge the gap to closer Fernando Rodney.

    “There’s no question that while we get Reed back to where we want Reed to be, I think he’s getting a little antsy to pitch,” Molitor said. “I’m looking for a chance to get him in there.”

    Second baseman Eduardo Nunez will likely be back in Boston manager Alex Cora’s lineup Thursday as the Red Sox look to avoid being swept for the first time this season.

    Nunez has seen the bulk of the action at second base with Dustin Pedroia on the disabled list, but Nunez has not produced at the plate or in the field. He is batting .247 with a .625 OPS this season and is last among American League second baseman with minus-10 defensive runs saved.

    He took early work at second base ahead of Boston’s game Monday with Pedroia and infield coach Carlos Febles looking on.

    “We need this guy to get going Taven Bryan Color Rush Jersey ,” Cora said. “I saw what he did last year. We know there’s more there.”

    Obtained from the San Francisco Giants last July, Nunez batted .321 with an .892 OPS in 38 games after the trade, and the Red Sox signed him to a one-year deal as they prepared to open the season without Pedroia.

    “Eduardo is not known for his defense,” Cora admitted. “He’s an offensive player. He’s doing his best. He’s making the routine plays.”

    Rick Porcello (8-3, 3.70) gets the start for Boston in the series finale.

    The right-hander is 2-1 with a 3.60 ERA over his last four starts, and he had his string of three straight outings allowing two earned runs halted when the Mariners tagged him for four over six innings in a loss at Seattle on Friday.

    Porcello is 10-10 with a 3.90 ERA in 29 career starts against Minnesota, but he has yet to face the Twins this season.

    Julio Teheran was confident he could shake off his slow start against the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night. Atlanta Braves manager Brian Snitker was not so sure.
    Teheran walked the first two batters he faced and then buckled down to retire 15 of the next 16 as the Braves rolled to a 5-1 win over the Cardinals.

    Teheran (6-5) allowed just two hits over six shutout innings. He struck out four and did not walk a batter after issuing two free passes over his first 13 pitches.

    ”The (heat) was kind of bothering me a little bit at first,” Teheran said. ”Then, I started concentrating on the game. When you get your head into what you want to do, everything else is secondary.”

    Snikter was initially concerned.

    ”The first two or three batters, I was wondering if he was going to make it through Minkah Fitzpatrick Color Rush Jersey ,” Snitker said. ”Then he just kind of righted himself and he was sharp, efficient. His stuff was really good.”

    It marked the fifth time this season that Teheran tossed six or more scoreless innings in 16 starts.

    ”He threw us a bunch of strikes and just kept guys off base,” St. Louis infielder Matt Carpenter said. ”He kept us off balance.”

    Johan Camargo had three hits including a two-run double to help Atlanta win for only the fourth time in 13 games in St. Louis since the start of the 2016 season.

    ”We believe in ourselves and everything is possible,” Camargo said.

    Dan Winker recorded his first major league save by retiring the only two batters he faced.

    Miles Mikolas (8-3) gave up one run on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings for the Cardinals, who have lost two straight.

    ”I felt pretty good out there,” Mikolas said. ”It was tough dealing with the heat the first couple innings, but after that, I think I settled in.”

    The Braves used successive singles by Camargo, Dansby Swanson and Danny Santana to load the bases with one out in the seventh. Austin Gomber relieved Mikolas and his first pitch glanced off Ender Inciarte’s helmet for a 1-0 lead.

    Camargo slapped a two-run double off Jordan Hicks in the eighth to push the lead to 3-0, and Swanson capped off the three-run inning with a run-scoring single.

    Swanson also had three hits, trying a season high.

    Atlanta’s Ozzie Albies singled in the ninth to extend his hitting streak to a career-high nine games Mike Hughes Color Rush Jersey , and later scored on Nick Markakis‘ sacrifice fly.

    Kolten Wong grounded into a fielder’s choice with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth as the Cardinals avoided a shutout.

    TRAINER’S ROOM

    Braves: C Tyler Flowers left the game with a right hamstring cramp after flying out to end the sixth inning. The game-time temperature was 92 degrees, ”I did everything I could to prepare for it,” Flowers said. ”No answer.”

    … OF Ronald Acuna Jr. returned to the lineup on Friday after missing 27 games with a left knee sprain. He went 0 for 4 … RHP Brandon McCarthy was placed on the 10-day disabled list with right knee tendinitis. … RHP Matt Wisler was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett.

    Cardinals: INF Paul DeJong went 1 for 3 in his first rehab start with Triple-A Memphis on Friday. DeJong, who has missed 38 games with a fractured bone in his left hand, is likely to be recalled on Monday. … RHP Matt Bowman also began a rehab stint on Friday in Memphis. He has been sidelined with blisters and numbness in his fingers.

    UP NEXT

    RHP Luke Weaver (4-6, 4.59) will face LHP Max Fried (0-2, 4.09) in the second of the three-game series on Saturday. Weaver struck out a season-high nine batters in an 8-2 win at Milwaukee on June 24. Fried was scratched from a scheduled start at Gwinnett on Friday.

     

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