Kyle Gibson's midsummer debut was one of the few buzz-generating developments for the Minnesota Twins in this third straight losing season.
Two months later, Gibson found himself at the top of a long list of disappointments.
Dillon Gee pitched into the eighth inning for the New York Mets in a 6-1 victory over the Twins on Monday afternoon in a makeup game from April 14.
Gibson was sent back to Triple-A Rochester afterward.
"I don't know I can say I saw it coming, but anytime you struggle for as long as I have, not throw the way you want and have success, there's always a chance you're going to get sent down," Gibson said. "That's part of the business."
Gibson (2-4) had a 6.53 ERA in 10 starts with 20 walks and 29 strikeouts in 51 innings. He recorded 11 outs and allowed 10 hits in this one.
"We just wanted to see what he had. It was fun for him to get a chance to come up here and pitch," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He got a taste of it, and he'll be better for it next time."
Gee (9-8) turned in yet another quality start, and the offense for the Mets was about as balanced as could be with RBI singles by Eric Young, Daniel Murphy, Andrew Brown, Wilmer Flores and Omar Quintanilla.
All five of them had two hits, as did Marlon Byrd, who hit his 20th home run.
The Mets won the first two games of the series here by a total score of 20-7, but the finale at Target Field was postponed due to cold and rain.
Despite the four-plus months that elapsed, this was just as lopsided as before, thanks to Gee. The 27-year-old right-hander was scheduled to start this game originally on that wintry afternoon.
Since May 30, Gee has a 2.27 ERA, the third-best in the league behind Jose Fernandez and Clayton Kershaw. Gee walked just one and struck out nine, matching the second-highest total of his career.
Left-hander Scott Rice relieved him with two outs in the eighth inning to retire Justin Morneau with Joe Mauer, who had two of the six hits against Gee, on second.
The only run Gee allowed was unearned when Murphy let a ground ball hit by Clete Thomas slide underneath his glove at second base in the seventh for an error.
The Twins went 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position and 15 for 81 on this eight-game homestand, lowering their league-worst batting average in those situations to below .230.
They finished 2-6 on the homestand. They're also on pace to set a franchise records for strikeouts.
Strikeouts have eluded the starting pitchers, who collectively have the worst ERA in the majors.
Gibson, the 2009 first-round draft pick who had Tommy John surgery, produced little evidence since a promising debut on June 29 that he's ready to help stabilize this rotation. Only twice has he gone six innings and given up three runs or fewer.
His demotion came on the six-year anniversary of Johan Santana's franchise-record 17-strikeout performance at the Metrodome, a two-hit effort over eight scoreless innings.
The Twins haven't had anyone close to that ace level since he was traded after the 2007 season, but they'd be happy if Gibson became a reliable No. 3 starter.
"His fastball's good. His sink moves. But as you can see his command is not there yet. He can't get them in the right places," Gardenhire said.
Gibson has logged 142 2-3 innings, including the minors, so the Twins are likely close to shutting him down for the year.
He said after watching video of this start that he only put 27 of his 72 pitches where he wanted them.
"Obviously, that's not good enough, and I've got a lot of stuff I need to work on," Gibson said. "That's what I'm going to go do. The Twins gave me an opportunity and, obviously, I didn't take advantage of it like I wanted to."