video thumbnail

SEA@MIN: Deduno strikes out nine over seven scoreless

MINNEAPOLIS -- Samuel Deduno pitched on Wednesday five days removed from his worst Major League start, when he got shelled for seven runs in only five innings against the Rangers.

What Minnesota got wasn't simply an improvement -- it was a revelation.

He rebounded from the rough outing to shut down Seattle, throwing seven shutout innings to lead Minnesota to a 10-0 victory at Target Field. The win snapped the Twins' seven-game losing streak to the Mariners. It was also Minnesota's second shutout win of the season in which they scored at least 10 runs.

"Sammy Deduno was outstanding," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Used all of his pitches. Breaking balls were filthy. Fastball -- I think you saw it moving all over the place. A great performance by him. And we finally got him some runs to work with a little bit."

Deduno also snapped a personal two-game skid of his own while tossing the gem, which saw him surrender just two hits and strike out a career-high nine batters. The right-hander was fresh off allowing 11 hits to Texas on Aug. 24, including three of Adrian Beltre's hits for a cycle.

Ten runs felt like even more for Minnesota, which had scored just 10 runs in the seven straight defeats to the Mariners.

The Twins rediscovered some power to help the offensive surge after hitting only one homer in the previous 11 games. Trevor Plouffe hit a two-run homer in the fourth -- his 20th but first since July 3 -- to give his club a 5-0 lead. Josh Willingham's 32nd home run came the next inning on a solo shot.

Plouffe's home run was an encouraging sign as he continues to recapture his timing after missing three weeks with a bruised thumb. He had gone 118 plate appearances without a home run.

"I've been working hard," Plouffe said. "Taking those three weeks off, obviously your timing isn't going to be there. So I've been working to try to do the same thing I've been doing all season. I've been working with [hitting coach] Joe [Vavra] but the timing just wasn't there. Tonight we just really simplified everything and put some good swings on it and hopefully it'll lead to some more consistency down the stretch here."

Minnesota seized a 3-0 lead in the third inning with some assistance from Seattle starter Jason Vargas. Vargas walked Plouffe and Pedro Florimon to start the inning. Ben Revere struck out but Jamey Carroll followed with a single and Joe Mauer made Vargas pay the price with a double to score Plouffe and Florimon. Justin Morneau later added a two-out single to score Carroll.

Vargas left after only 4 2/3 innings, giving up five earned runs on eight hits. He allowed an unearned run when Chris Parmelee reached on an error before scoring on Plouffe's home run.

"The thing he does so well is mixes up speeds," said Willingham, whose home run came against Vargas. "He's got a really, really good changeup and locates the ball really well. We were patient. We drew some walks. When we got some runners on tonight, we were able to capitalize, and I think that was the reason."

Deduno also became the first Twins pitcher to throw seven innings while allowing two hits or fewer twice in the same season since Francisco Liriano did it last year. The right-hander also tossed seven innings of two-hit ball against Cleveland on July 28.

Tyler Robertson and Anthony Swarzak combined to throw two scoreless innings as Seattle was shut out for the 12th time this year.

"[Deduno] had an incredible breaking ball and a great feel for it," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. "He was throwing it down on the plate, throwing it for strikes. He was really going to both sides of the plate against both right-handers and left-handers. He really had a great feel for it, and obviously you've got to respect the fastball, too. Then he started mixing in some changeups. He just really pitched a good game."

Perhaps what was most impressive about Deduno's night were the walks -- or lack thereof. He recorded no walks, something he had never accomplished in nine Major League starts. Deduno had issued 37 free passes in 58 innings.

"Today, the key was being aggressive," he said. "Every time, with all my pitches -- fastball, changeup and everything."

Mauer again helped the Twins tack on to their lead in the seventh. A day after reportedly being placed on trade waivers, he started the frame with his second triple of the season before coming around to score on Willingham's sacrifice fly. Plouffe knocked in two additional runs with a two-out double.

"It was pretty much up and down [the order]," Gardenhire said. "The guys had some quality at-bats and took some pitches and got good hitting counts. We actually banged the ball around pretty good. It was a fun night for us. We need more of them ... hopefully this is a start."

MLB.com Comments