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Diamond, Gardenhire tossed in the third

It's been a whirlwind rookie year for Scott Diamond. Between being recalled from Triple-A in May as Minnesota's starting rotation floundered, to starring as the Twins' most reliable pitcher, including his first-career complete-game shutout on July 27.

But the most recent chapter in Diamond's strong campaign -- a six-game suspension for a pitch near the head of Texas' Josh Hamilton in a game on Aug. 23 -- is one the left-hander wouldn't mind moving past quickly.

Diamond initially chose to appeal to the suspension, but eventually chose to drop it after receiving advice from the Players Association.

"It's a little frustrating the way it all played out," Diamond said. "But at the same time, that's the way it happened. I can't deny what happened."

With his suspension now served, Tuesday's start against Chicago will mark his return. Diamond will also be looking to distance himself from the memory of his most recent start. He managed to go seven innings against Seattle on Aug. 28 but not before allowing a season-high five runs on seven hits.

Maybe the struggles should have been chalked up to the distraction of his impending suspension. Either way, he didn't look like the same Diamond the Twins have seen all season.

"I definitely felt pretty energetic out there," Diamond said after Minnesota's 5-2 loss to the Mariners. "Early on I felt like I was locating a lot my pitches. Curveball wasn't exactly what I hoped it would be. But fastball was working, and changeup as well."

Fellow rookie southpaw Jose Quintana, who will oppose Diamond on Tuesday, also didn't resemble the pleasant surprise he has been for the White Sox all season during his last outing.

Quintana posted a 3.08 ERA through his first four starts during the month of August. But he was shelled for five runs -- including two home runs -- in just 3 2/3 innings against Baltimore on Aug. 30.

He started by retiring the first eight batters he faced, but things quickly fell apart after he surrendered a home run to Taylor Teagarden.

"You know, it's really hard to say how I went from feeling good starting off to it really going quick," he said afterward through an interpreter. "The only thing I can say is that I was leaving pitches down the middle and balls were getting away from me."

Twins: Willingham back after missing game
• Josh Willingham returned to the lineup and served as designated hitter on Monday after missing Sunday's game against Kansas City because of a sore hamstring. Willingham is only two RBIs short of his career high of 98, established last year with Oakland.

He went 0-for-4 in Monday's 4-2 loss.

"He says he's good to go," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "The trainers said their preference is to have him DH rather than play out there in left today and then we'll see tomorrow."

• Former White Sox infielder Eduardo Escobar and right-handed pitcher Luis Perdomo are slated to join the Twins prior to Tuesday's game. Minnesota acquired Escobar, along with Pedro Hernandez, from Chicago in exchange for Francisco Liriano on July 28.

White Sox: Dunn returns
• Like Minnesota, Chicago also got its most powerful slugger back in the lineup on Monday as Adam Dunn started as designated hitter and went 1-for-3. Dunn had missed the previous two games because of a strained right oblique.

"There are times when you are looking at him and he winces or things I saw the other night," manager Robin Ventura said. "But he feels pretty good. The way he was moving around [Monday] was a lot different than he was the other day."

• Gavin Floyd plans to throw another bullpen session on Thursday after throwing 20 pitches off a mound on Monday. The right-hander is on the disabled list retroactive to Aug. 27 with a right elbow flexor strain.

"It was a step in the right direction," Floyd said. "I'm pretty excited about that. I wasn't 100 percent out there but I felt pretty good, pretty loose. It was more in between pitches that I was feeling it. It wasn't 'ouch.'"

Worth noting
• Monday's win clinched Chicago's second season series victory over Minnesota in the last 12 years.

• The White Sox have won eight of their last nine games against the Twins.

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