Twins try to keep rolling in San Francisco
(SportsNetwork.com) - The surging Minnesota Twins will try to secure their eighth victory in 10 games on Friday night as they begin a three-game series with the San Francisco Giants.
Minnesota swept a quick two-game series with the San Diego Padres to move two games above .500 for the first time this season. The Twins are 23-21 and sit 4 1/2 games out of first place in the AL Central.
Phil Hughes continued his personal roll in Wednesday's 2-0 win over the Padres, hurling seven scoreless innings to win his fifth straight decision. He gave up seven hits -- all singles -- and struck out seven.
"I wanted to throw strikes, be aggressive because I feel like my stuff is good enough," Hughes said.
Trevor Plouffe backed Hughes with a solo homer and Chris Parmelee added a sacrifice fly.
Kyle Gibson will start for Minnesota in tonight's opener and won for the first time in five starts with Friday's decision over Seattle. The righty scattered a run, six hits and two walks over seven innings, striking out four to secure his first victory since April 17.
It also was a solid bounce-back effort by Gibson, who lasted just two innings and gave up six runs in losing his previous start.
"Through the middle part of the game he was cruising. He was using all his pitches," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said of Gibson's effort versus the Mariners. "He controlled the game pretty good."
The 26-year-old Gibson, now 4-3 with a 4.20 earned run average on the year, has never faced the Giants, who will send Tim Lincecum to the hill.
Lincecum is coming off a loss to Miami in Saturday as he allowed three runs on seven hits and three walks while striking out six. He dipped to 3-3 with the setback to go along with a 4.74 ERA.
"He had five quick outs and then he got out of sync," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of Lincecum.
Lincecum, a 29-year-old righty, would love to turn back to the clock to his first and only other meeting with the Twins. He was dominant in that outing on June 23, 2011, working around three hits and two walks over seven scoreless innings while striking out 12 in the 2-1 win.
The Giants split the first two contests of a three-game series with the Colorado Rockies before Thursday's finale was suspended due to weather with the game even at 2-2.
The contest featured two rain delays lasting more than an hour each and will likely be resumed during the Giants' next trip to Denver, scheduled for Sept. 1-3.
"It was going to take awhile to get the field ready. It was pretty wet," Bochy told his club's official website, adding that another storm appeared to be on the way. "... With the conditions out there, (suspending the game) just made sense. It's not like this is the last trip in. It makes it easier, really."
The Giants got both of their runs in the fourth inning, when Hunter Pence smacked an 0-2 slider for a solo homer and Michael Morse later scoring on a double by Pablo Sandoval.
The Giants won two of three when they hosted the Twins in 2011 and have won four of the last six encounters overall.
05/23 10:48:32 ET