Rookies Deduno, Mastroianni provide big lifts

Deduno, Mastroianni spark Twins over Tigers

Rookies Deduno, Mastroianni provide big lifts
MINNEAPOLIS -- Samuel Deduno has been described as effectively wild seemingly all season, but with the way things have gone in seven starts, it might be more apt to describe the rookie right-hander as wildly effective.

Deduno has been a nice surprise for the Twins, and it was again the case against the Tigers on Monday night. Deduno tossed seven-plus strong innings, and Darin Mastroianni and Ryan Doumit each drove in three runs to help lead the Twins to a 9-3 win at Target Field.

Deduno had trouble with his control yet again -- walking five -- but gave up three runs on five hits with six strikeouts while pitching into the eighth inning for the first time in his career. He's now issued 30 free passes in 40 innings, but it hasn't come back to haunt him, as he improved to 4-0 with a 3.38 ERA.

"He's the prototypical effectively wild pitcher," Doumit said. "He's always going to be like that. He's always going to be a high-strikeout, high-walk kind of guy. But if he can harness it -- you don't see too many pitchers with natural movement like that -- and it's a testament to him. It was a pretty good offensive team and he stuck it to them."

He held the Tigers hitless until the fifth, when Jhonny Peralta doubled to bring home Brennan Boesch, who drew a leadoff walk. But Deduno was able to get out of the inning without any further damage with the help of an unusual double play off the bat of Andy Dirks. Dirks hit a line drive off Deduno's glove, but it went directly to Alexi Casilla at second base, who was able to double off Omar Infante at first after he walked with one out.

"The curveball was pretty good today," Deduno said. "The fastball still has movement, but I'm still working [on it]."

Mastroianni, meanwhile, had a big night, as he picked up three hits and three RBIs. After Justin Morneau brought home Minnesota's first run with an RBI single in the third, Mastroianni crushed a solo shot off Tigers right-hander Anibal Sanchez in the fifth for a 2-1 lead.

The Twins added three insurance runs in the sixth off Sanchez, with Casilla plating the first run with an RBI double off the wall in right field. Mastroianni then came through with a two-run single with two outs, but was thrown out trying to advance to second base.

"Every contact they made, they found a hole," said Sanchez, who gave up five runs on 12 hits over 5 1/3 innings. "Just two big hits -- Casilla and the homer. The guys just made contact and found the holes."

Mastroianni also has been a solid pickup for Minnesota as a capable fourth outfielder, as he's hitting .296 with 14 stolen bases while providing solid defense.

"I'm as comfortable as you can feel in a big league batter's box with some of these guys on the mound," Mastroianni said. "We work really hard in trying to simulate games when I'm not playing every day, and simplify my swing so I don't have to waste at-bats and I can go out there and be ready when I am up there. So I do feel comfortable."

Doumit's three RBIs came on one swing of the bat in the seventh, as he crushed a three-run blast off reliever Duane Below. The homer to left was his 14th of the year and came on a 2-2 fastball.

The Tigers scored twice in the eighth, as Deduno gave up three straight hits before coming out for left-hander Tyler Robertson. Former Twins outfielder Delmon Young singled home a run off Robertson before Jeff Gray came in and got pinch-hitter Jeff Baker to hit a comebacker to end the inning. Mastroianni also made a diving catch for the first out of the inning.

The win snapped a four-game losing streak for the Twins, who were coming off a three-game sweep by the Rays.

"A nice win for us, nice start to the series," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "The boys came out swinging the bats and beat the ball around a little bit as we got going there."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.