The Minnesota Twins just picked up a much-needed home victory.
Kyle Gibson didn't come close to winning the last time he pitched at Target Field.
The rookie right-hander will make his first home start in nearly a month Saturday night when Minnesota continues its series with the Houston Astros .
After the Twins' major league-worst rotation posted a 7.65 ERA during the club's four-game losing streak, Samuel Deduno worked around five walks and allowed two runs in six innings Friday before Minnesota (46-60) won 4-3 in 13 innings on Brian Dozier 's game-winning single.
Dozier, who's hit safely in a career-best nine straight, had a game-tying RBI single in the ninth after Houston (36-72) took a 3-2 lead on Matt Dominguez 's run-scoring double off All-Star closer Glen Perkins ."A much-needed win for the team," Dozier said. "A confidence booster."
After ending a four-game home skid in the series opener, the Twins will hand the ball to Gibson (2-3, 6.21 ERA), who was tagged for eight runs and 11 hits in his last start at Minneapolis, a 9-5 loss to the New York Yankees on July 4.
He's made four road starts since, most recently giving up five runs over five innings in Sunday's 6-4 loss to Seattle.
Gibson has surrendered two homers in each of his last two starts after not yielding any in his first four.
"This is the second game in a row I haven't gotten strike one," he told the Twins' official website. "As soon as I get strike one it's going to be a whole lot easier for me."
Getting ahead of hitters could also extend Gibson's outings. He's failed to pitched past the sixth in any of his starts since his late June call-up.
Astros starters have been outstanding over the past 11 games, posting a 3.33 ERA while at least pitching into the seventh five times, but the bullpen has been an issue. Houston's bullpen has a 6.53 ERA in that stretch, and it gave up runs in the eighth and ninth Friday."We had opportunities to close it out and just didn't get the job done," manager Bo Porter said. "It's definitely a concern. It's pretty obvious that we've had problems in our bullpen."
Erik Bedard (3-8, 4.28) will try to keep the Astros' trend of strong starts going, and he's posted a 2.20 ERA in his last three but has lost them all while getting just two runs of support.
The left-hander is making his first start in nine days after being scratched prior to Wednesday's trade deadline. Bedard obviously wasn't dealt, so he'll get another chance with Houston to snap his five-start losing streak.
He held Toronto to a run and three hits over five innings July 25 in a 4-0 loss."He's been doing a great job of really attacking guys," catcher Jason Castro said. "He's got very good stuff, he's got a ton of movement on his pitches."
Bedard is 1-0 with a 1.59 ERA in three starts since 2011 against the Twins - one each with the Mariners, Red Sox and Pirates - though he hasn't pitched in Minnesota since August of that year while with Boston.
Justin Morneau , who had his second straight multi-hit game Friday, has faced Bedard more than any Twin. He's 11 for 29 with two homers and two doubles.
Astros second baseman Jose Altuve may return Saturday after missing the past two games with a sore left quad.
|July 31, 2013||Brandon Barnes||Day-to-Day||Lower back tightness|
|July 27, 2013||Jose Altuve||Day-to-Day||Left quad tightness|
|July 27, 2013||J.D. Martinez||15-Day DL||Sprained left wrist|
|July 23, 2013||Brandon Barnes||Day-to-Day||Left game - mild left calf strain|
|July 09, 2013||Ronny Cedeno||Day-to-Day||Left game - bruised left toe|
|June 29, 2013||Justin Maxwell||7-Day DL||Mild concussion|
|July 01, 2013||Josh Willingham||15-Day DL||Medial meniscus tear, left knee|
|July 01, 2013||Josh Willingham||Day-to-Day||Left knee soreness|
|June 19, 2013||Mike Pelfrey||15-Day DL||Back strain|
|June 19, 2013||Mike Pelfrey||15-Day DL||Back strain|
|June 11, 2013||Jared Burton||Day-to-Day||Groin injury|
|June 10, 2013||Aaron Hicks||15-Day DL||Left hamstring strain|
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- After Anthony Swarzak helped lead another dominant effort for the Minnesota Twins ' bullpen, he offered a few words of encouragement to his struggling young teammate Kyle Gibson .
Ryan Doumit hit the go-ahead single in the seventh inning, Minnesota's bullpen pitched six scoreless innings and the Twins beat the Houston Astros 6-4 on Saturday night.
Swarzak made sure to connect with Gibson - also a young up-and-comer - about keeping his head up after a string of bad outings: he's allowed nine runs in his past six innings.
"He's got unbelievable stuff I told him. He was born to be here in this league, we all see that," said Swarzak, who has allowed just one earned run in his past 16 innings.
"Now it's just putting it all together. When I got called up in `09, I was kind of doing the same thing he's doing now. You want to do good so bad, it kind of works against you sometimes."
After Gibson allowed four runs and nine hits in three innings, Swarzak struck out five in the next three innings and the American League's second-best bullpen came through for Minnesota.
Brian Duensing (4-1) followed with a scoreless seventh and Casey Fien a scoreless eighth to set up All-Star Glen Perkins for his 26th save.
"Swarzy was the star of the game for us," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "That was huge to pick us up."
Minnesota relievers allowed only one hit and struck out 10 over the game's last six innings.
Brett Wallace homered for Houston and Erik Bedard allowed three runs in six innings before leaving with a 4-3 lead.
Houston's bullpen entered the game with a 5.11 ERA - worst in the majors - and couldn't hang on to get Bedard his first win since June 26.
With Lucas Harrell (5-12) on the mound, Brian Dozier doubled home Clete Thomas to tie the game at 4.
After Harrell walked Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau , Doumit dumped a single that landed just in front of center fielder Brandon Barnes to give Minnesota the lead.
Harrell walked Oswaldo Arcia later in the inning with the bases loaded to make it 6-4.
"It's definitely frustrating. If I don't pitch better I'm going to be gone," Harrell said. "Being realistic, that's the way it is. Hopefully they'll even give me another chance to go back out. Hopefully finish the rest of the year and have a couple good outings and end on a high note."
Dozier and Arcia led off the first and second innings with triples off Bedard and eventually scored.
The Twins took a 3-1 lead in the second on a blooper-reel type of play that left Jose Altuve and Wallace staring at each other while Bedard pounded his glove in frustration.
With runners on first and third and one out, Dozier struck out and Doug Bernier got caught in a rundown trying to steal second. With an eye on Thomas creeping off third, Altuve chased Bernier back to first and bumped into Wallace as Thomas scampered home.
Thomas was credited with a steal of home, Minnesota's first since Torii Hunter swiped home versus Detroit on May 4, 2002.
"We were moving around pretty good out there," Gardenhire said. "All he's gotta do is get in a rundown in that situation. They got a little confused, and there ya have it."
Bedard settled down after the mishap and appeared on his way to snapping a five-game losing skid.
Houston grabbed a 4-3 lead after Wallace's solo homer which was part of five straight two-out hits in the third.
But Harrell - typically a starter - allowed a leadoff double to Thomas in the seventh and struggled from there.
Harrell has been used out of the bullpen recently after several trades shook up Houston's rotation. Friday night's game lasted 13 innings and required manager Bo Porter to get a little creative with his pitchers.
"This being my first year as a manager and being in baseball as long as I've been in baseball, this is arguably the toughest stretch I've witnessed - whether its player, coach, manager - of bullpen woes," Porter said.
Robbie Grossman and Barnes each had two hits for Houston.
Dozier extended his hitting streak to 10 games.
NOTES: The Astros will recall Brad Peacock from Triple-A Oklahoma City to start Sunday's series finale. Peacock is 6-2 with a 2.73 ERA in the minors and 1-3 with an 8.07 ERA in nine appearances with Houston this season. Outfielder Jimmy Paredes will be sent down. ... Andrew Albers will make his major-league debut for the Twins on Tuesday against Kansas City. The Canadian lefty arrived in Minnesota a couple of hours before Saturday's first pitch, bleary-eyed but excited for his opportunity. "It's been a whirlwind last day-and-a-half. Just trying to take it all in right now. Not sure if it's really sunk in," said Albers, 11-5 with a 2.86 ERA at Triple-A Rochester. "I'm really thrilled to be here." ... Altuve returned after missing the past two games with a sore quad. ... Mike Pelfrey (4-9, 5.31) takes the mound for Minnesota on Sunday and will try to break a three-game losing streak.