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MIN@TEX: Gibson holds Rangers to two over eight

Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson has been a pitcher of extremes this season. His last start was the bad.

Gibson lasted just two innings against the Yankees, giving up six runs (five earned) on six hits and a walk.

Gibson fell to 7-7 on the season with the loss, and his ERA in those seven losses is 13.16 in 26 2/3 innings. Yet there's a reason Gibson is throwing in the Majors. In his seven wins, he has a 0.93 ERA in 48 1/3 innings.

"It's either been good or bad," Gibson said. "Nothing really in the middle. I'm just trying to get more consistent. One thing I've tried to focus on this season is limiting crooked numbers, but giving up three runs in back-to-back innings is no way to start a game."

He'll try to give the Twins a lead in the four-game series against Mariners rookie left-hander, Roenis Elias.

Elias, who was born in Cuba, spent all of last season with Double-A Jackson, earning All-Star honors in the Southern League. The 25-year-old was perhaps the biggest surprise of 2014 Spring Training and earned a spot in the Mariners' starting rotation.

Like Gibson, Elias is 7-7 this season. His 4.19 ERA has been inflated in his last two starts, in which he's 0-2 with a 8.18 ERA over 11 innings. His last start came in a 7-1 loss to the White Sox, when he gave up five runs on seven hits in five innings, including a two-run homer from Jose Abreu.

"It was just a bad day like any other. I'll just stay positive and keep working hard," Elias said, using bullpen coach Mike Rojas as an interpreter. "My pitches were there. They just hit them. That's baseball."

Mariners: Paxton nearing return
Mariners left-hander James Paxton pitched a two-inning simulated game Tuesday as he works his way back from a lat injury that has kept him out of the big league rotation since the beginning of April.

Paxton threw 33 pitches and said afterward that he's feeling "awesome." The 25-year-old rookie expects to throw a 50-pitch simulated game Saturday before he and the club determine if he's ready to go out on a rehab assignment.

"We're trying to decide if we're going to do two or three sim games," he said.

Paxton injured his lat muscle on April 8 against the Angels. After rehabbing, he made one start with Triple-A Tacoma in late May, but afterward experienced soreness in his left shoulder. He was diagnosed with inflammation, which further delayed his return to the big leagues.

On Tuesday, the 6-foot-4, 220-pound British Columbia native said he is to the point where he no longer thinks about the injury.

"The ball was coming out really well," Paxton said. "[Pitching coach Rick Waits] said he had nothing to say, so it was all good. Things are looking up."

Paxton is 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA in two starts this season and 5-0 with a 1.75 ERA since making his Major League debut with the Mariners last September. 

Twins: Dozier Derby bound
Twins second baseman Brian Dozier will compete in the Home Run Derby in front of his home crowd on Monday at Target Field.

Dozier leads the Twins with 16 home runs this season.

"It's pretty cool," Dozier said. "It's something you always watched growing up and now I have the chance to do it, especially at Target Field in front of the home fans so it will be a lot of fun. I'm very happy [Blue Jays outfielder and American League captain Jose Baustista] picked a hometown guy. That shows a lot of class. So it means a lot to me and also to the Twins and the fans."

Worth noting
• Mariners center fielder Michael Saunders has hit in every spot in the lineup this season. On Tuesday, he was the leadoff man for the second day in a row.

• Twins right-hander Ricky Nolasco was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right elbow on Tuesday. Nolasco has a 5-7 record with a 5.90 ERA in 18 starts this season. Comments