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For Twins minor leaguer Daniel Gossett, 120 pitches add up to no-hitter

Gossett becomes the first player in Wind Surge history to throw a no-hitter

Oakland Athletics vs. Kansas City Royals
Daniel Gossett throws a pitch against the Kansas City Royals on June 3, 2018, as a member of the Oakland Athletics.
John Sleezer / Kansas City Star / TNS
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With Daniel Gossett’s pitch count in the mid-90s, Double-A manager Ramon Borrego approached his pitcher last Friday in Wichita and congratulated him on a game well-pitched. Those weren’t the words that Gossett, eight innings into a no-hitter, wanted to hear.

“Can I at least try?” the Twins’ minor-leaguer asked his manager.

So Borrego acquiesced, and let him try. But as the pitch count kept climbing in the ninth inning, the manager became more antsy. Gossett issued a pair of two-out walks and immediately looked toward the dugout.

“I held up one finger and was like, ‘One more, one more,’ ” Gossett said. “I probably asked him four or five times.”

It took 120 pitches — and Gossett admitted he was absolutely gassed at the end of it — but the 29-year-old right-hander completed the feat, becoming the first player in Wind Surge history to throw a no-no. And he did it in front of a crowd that included his wife, Presley, and daughter, Lucy.

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Gossett nearly threw a no-hitter last season in Triple-A against Lehigh Valley, getting through eight innings before allowing a hit to the leadoff hitter in the ninth. This time around, when left fielder Anthony Prato made a catch on a lineout for the first out of the ninth, Gossett finally started believing it could happen.

“I was like, ‘Wow, that was the play. This could actually happen. This could really happen,’ ” he said.

Gossett’s career hasn’t been a linear one. A second-round draft pick by the Oakland Athletics out of Clemson University in 2014, Gossett reached the majors briefly in 2017 and 2018, making 23 starts for the A’s. And then came the elbow issues.

He underwent Tommy John surgery in 2018 and has not made it back to the majors since, bouncing around from the Athletics to the Red Sox organizations before signing a minor-league deal with the Twins this offseason.

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His year started with the Triple-A Saints, but he would be the first to admit he didn’t pitch well in St. Paul. After posting a 9.73 earned-run average in 10 games with the Saints, he was moved down to Double-A, finding himself back in the Texas League at a level he hadn’t pitched since 2016.

Gossett started to find his footing at Double-A and eventually was called back up to Triple-A, only to be sent back down after three scoreless relief outings in St. Paul. Prior to throwing the no-hitter, he had made one start since returning to Wichita.

“I was searching for a lot of things trying to find it again and then I outsourced to the pitching coaches, hitting coaches, strength coaches, players around the locker room. I’m asking like, ‘Hey, what do you see here?’ ” Gossett said. “I was in a pretty tough headspace and then to have it all come around and be back in the Texas League six years after I did it the first time and it’s like to have it happen here with the group of guys that we have in the locker room is unbelievable.”

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