HOUSTON -- Kyle Gibson carried a shutout into the eighth inning, claiming his duel with mound counterpart Brett Oberholtzer and pitching the Minnesota Twins to a 3-1 win and a three-game series victory over the Houston Astros on Wednesday at Minute Maid Park.
Gibson (11-9) allowed six hits and walked two while striking out four in 7 2/3 innings, losing his shutout bid when Astros designated hitter Chris Carter blooped a two-out single into shallow left field to score second baseman Jose Altuve.
Gibson, who was lifted for right-hander Casey Fien, had surrendered eight total runs in his last two starts, but his effort against the Astros (50-71) was reminiscent of his mid-June run of dominance when he pitched three consecutive scoreless outings.
Oberholtzer (4-8) was almost as impressive, logging his 10th consecutive start of at least six innings pitched while surrendering one run in seven innings -- a leadoff homer to Twins first baseman Joe Mauer in the sixth.
Oberholtzer, who gave up with six hits and one walk with four strikeouts, has allowed 12 earned runs in his last six starts (and 41 innings) but is just 2-1 with three no-decisions during that stretch.
The Twins (54-65) tacked on two critical insurance runs in the eighth inning off Astros right-hander Josh Fields. Center fielder Danny Santana (single), second baseman Brian Dozier (double) and Mauer (intentional walk) reached in advance of designated hitter Kennys Vargas, whose two-run double built the lead to 3-0.
Minnesota left-hander Glen Perkins picked up his 30th save by retiring the side in order in the ninth.
Mauer finished 2-for-3 and extended his hit streak to 15 games, one shy of his career long set Aug. 4-24, 2008.
NOTES: Astros 1B/LF Jesus Guzman will began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Oklahoma City on Thursday. Guzman missed his 11th game Wednesday after landing on the 15-day disabled list with back spasms on Aug. 2. ... The Twins are likely to make a decision on whether a pitcher will exit the rotation when RHP Ricky Nolasco returns from the 15-day disabled list on Friday against the Royals. RHP Yohan Pino allowed a season-high seven earned runs against the Astros on Tuesday night while RHP Trevor May scuffled in relief three days after making his major league debut in a start at Oakland. ... With Dexter Fowler reinstated from the disabled list and reclaiming his customary spot in center field, Astros OF Jake Marisnick made his first career start in right field. All 56 of his previous starts came in center.