Deduno's great start gives Twins opener at Fenway

Deduno's great start gives Twins opener at Fenway

Deduno's great start gives Twins opener at Fenway
BOSTON -- The 37,191 fans in attendance at Fenway Park on Thursday night likely all had the same question -- who is Samuel Deduno?

But Deduno helped make a name for himself by continuing his impressive stretch since being called up from Triple-A Rochester in early July, as he tossed six strong innings to help lead the Twins to a 5-0 win over the Red Sox.

Deduno gave up just two hits over six scoreless innings to pick up his third career victory in just his fifth career start. He's been a pleasant surprise for the Twins with a 2.48 ERA, despite issuing 20 walks in 29 innings this season.

He had trouble with his command again on Thursday -- he walked four batters -- but was again effectively wild.

"I'm still working on control of my fastball, because I walked like four people," said Deduno, who threw 50 strikes and 51 balls. "If I keep working, I feel I'm going to be better. My curveball and slider are pretty good. I'm still working on my fastball. The movement, it's crazy."

The movement on his fastball is so unpredictable that Twins catchers simply set up in the middle of the plate and watch it as it either cuts or dives in almost any direction. Deduno says he grips the ball the same way every time, but that the ball moves different ways without him knowing where it'll go.

"He's got how he describes it as a crazy fastball, so we just worked the middle of the plate," catcher Drew Butera said. "I did the same thing the first time I caught him in Kansas City, just sat in the middle and let him work the plate that way. His ball moves to both sides, so instead of just trying to figure out where it will move at certain times, you sit in the middle and let it run -- and use that to our advantage.

Adrian Gonzalez picked up both hits for the Red Sox with a double in the fourth and a single in the sixth. But even Gonzalez marveled at the way Deduno's ball moved against Red Sox hitters.

"His ball was moving everywhere -- cutting, sinking -- good sliders, good curveballs, wildly effective and he just threw a good game," Gonzalez said. "The unknown factor. You can only see so much on video, velocity doesn't do it justice. We thought he threw a four-seamer and a two-seamer, but he threw fastballs that we're cutting a lot. Just the unknown and Deduno tonight was wildly effective."

Deduno outpitched left-hander Jon Lester, who surrendered three runs on seven hits over eight innings. And the bullpen did the rest, as relievers Casey Fien and Glen Perkins tossed three scoreless innings to preserve the win for the Twins, who have won five of seven.

Our starting pitcher did a heck of a job," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Coming in and doing what he did in this ballpark was fantastic, and I know his ball-strike ratio wasn't the greatest, but sometimes that works, and as advertised, he's got a great breaking ball, he can snap them off with the best of them, and he held his composure with men out there."

The Twins got on the board with two runs in the third with Denard Span bringing home the first run on an RBI double before scoring on a single from Ben Revere that extended his hitting streak to a career-high 16 games.

Minnesota tacked on another run in the sixth, when Justin Morneau and Ryan Doumit hit back-to-back doubles with two outs.

"I don't feel like I've thrown the ball that well all year, I was just on the short end of the stick," said Lester, who entered with a 5.49 ERA. "I felt great, I threw the [heck] out of the ball, but the other guy threw better than me."

Brian Dozier added insurance in the top of the ninth with a two-run homer to left field in his first game at Fenway Park.

"That's one of the best feelings so far since I've been up here to be honest with you," Dozier said. "Because of all the history and everything behind it. It's cool. First time, family in town. It's pretty neat."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.