09/29/12 5:22 PM ET
Excelling lately, Diamond to start Wednesday
Back in his routine, left-hander has cemented spot in 2013 rotation
By Rhett Bollinger and Jordan Garretson / MLB.com
The left-hander's 7 1/3 innings in Friday's 4-2 win over the Tigers put him at 202 2/3 on the season between the Twins and Triple-A Rochester. But with Diamond's performances in his past two outings -- he has a 1.88 ERA in 14 1/3 innings -- Minnesota is OK with Diamond making his final start on Wednesday in Toronto.
It will mark the first game in Canada for the native of Guelph, Ontario.
"It's going to be pretty exciting," Diamond said. "I've never been able to pitch there. I'm definitely going to have some friends and family there, so it's going to be kind of a homecoming. I'm pretty excited about it."
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire credited Diamond's strict routine as one of the biggest reasons for his success -- a routine that was interrupted by the six-game suspension he received after throwing over the head of Texas' Josh Hamilton on Aug. 23. Diamond went 1-3 with a 7.33 ERA in his next four starts, before he rebounded with two strong showings against Detroit.
"He's come up with a good routine," Gardenhire said. "It was interrupted with that one juncture. ... It's all about routines in this game. Getting into one and sticking to it -- not varying from it."
Diamond leads all Minnesota starters with 12 wins and a 3.54 ERA in 26 starts this season. After essentially being recalled in May only as an emergency replacement, the 26-year-old has sealed a spot in the Twins' 2013 rotation.
"I would say that without even thinking about it," Gardenhire said. "He's definitely one of the guys we count on for next year."
Escobar day to day with sore elbow
MINNEAPOLIS -- Infielder Eduardo Escobar is day to day after being hit on the left elbow by a pitch in Friday's 4-2 victory over the Tigers.
Escobar left in the eighth inning of Friday's game after taking a pitch off his elbow. X-rays were negative, and other reports showed no serious damage, according to manager Ron Gardenhire.
Gardenhire said Escobar was only available for pinch-running duties in Saturday's game against Detroit.
"He's really sore," Gardenhire said. "I don't think that we'll be able to use him today."
Escobar is hitting .243 in 12 games this season for the Twins. He was acquired in the trade that sent Francisco Liriano to the White Sox in July.
"I don't think we'll probably put him out there until he tells me," Gardenhire said. "Pretty tough spot he got hit on."
Deduno's eye issues leave Tuesday up in the air
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins are still waiting to name a starter for Tuesday's game against the Blue Jays, as right-hander Samuel Deduno is expected to be scratched because of inflammation in his left eye.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he'll likely wait until Monday to decide who will start in the club's second-to-last game of the season. Deduno has yet to be cleared to pitch, as he's still experiencing problems with his eye.
"We'll see how we get through this weekend, and then we'll figure it out," Gardenhire said. "But first, we need to get through this weekend."
Candidates to make the start are left-hander Brian Duensing and right-hander Anthony Swarzak, but their usage against the Tigers this weekend is expected to dictate who starts on Tuesday.
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. Jordan Garretson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.