The Twins might be forced to accept life with Samuel Deduno the way it is. He’s going to have runners on the base paths. There are going to be one or two (or four) hard-hit balls. Pitching coach Rick Anderson will get his workout in taking trips to the mound to recalibrate the gifted righthander. But it seems that, more often than not, Deduno will figure out a way to finish with a solid outing. Such was the case on Monday when Deduno appeared ready to step on a few land mines but somehow straightened himself out to help the Twins win 4-3. It wasn’t pretty, but enough to start the Twins’ seven-game road trip the right way. Clete Thomas drove in two runs with a double and his fourth homer of the season, then kept the Twins in front by robbing Chris Iannetta of a home run with two runners on in the eighth. Glen Perkins pitched the final 1⅓ innings, striking out Albert Pujols and Howie Kendrick to end the game, to pick up his 24th save. It was his first save of more than three outs this season. "We said we were going to do these things," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Bring Perk in, let them make their moves and go from there. He's our best pitcher. Perk got it done." Catcher Joe Mauer had to visit the mound in the first inning after Deduno walked the first two batters he faced, but he limited the damage to a sacrifice fly by Howie Kendrick. A leadoff double by Erick Aybar in the third — the first Angels hit of the game — came back to haunt Deduno as Aybar scored on a Mike Trout single. Deduno walked a season-high five batters for the game and gave up three hits over his first six innings, but kept crooked numbers off the scoreboard. When he wasn’t missing the plate, he was getting swings and misses or balls beaten into the ground. His curveball might have been the best it’s been all season, as good as it was during the Word Baseball Classic when he starred for the Dominican Republic. And his fastball had movement. He retired eight of 10 batters to get through the sixth — despite having one pitch in the sixth get away from him and go sailing over Mark Trumbo’s head. ``A lot of good things happened out there,'' Gardenhire said. "Perk finished up. Sammy was unbelievable. That’s a very tough team over there that can do something with a bat.’’ Where Deduno was shaky, Angels righthander Joe Blanton was awful, which was the difference in the game.
Thomas, Perkins preserve Deduno's effort for Twins win
Minneapolis Star Tribune | Jul 23