Twins' hitters stymied by Harrison in loss

Twins' hitters stymied by Harrison in loss

Twins' hitters stymied by Harrison in loss
ARLINGTON -- When asked how tough it was to get Adrian Beltre out, Samuel Deduno had a simple answer.

"It was tough," Deduno said. "It was pretty tough."

Three of the season-high 11 hits Deduno allowed came off Beltre's bat as the Rangers third baseman hit for his second career cycle. Deduno gave up seven runs, also a season-high, over five innings, failing to strike out a batter for the first time this year, as the Twins fell to the Rangers, 8-0, at the Ballpark in Arlington on Friday night -- their ninth loss in the last 10 games.

"Things haven't been going great the past two weeks," Darin Mastroianni said. "We want to go out there and win. It is frustrating, but everyone has their heads up and we're still out there fighting -- we feel like we can win every game we're playing."

The rookie right-hander had walked a Majors-worst 20 batters this month before beginning the game by issuing a free pass to Ian Kinsler. But none of the other 13 batters Deduno allowed to reach base got on by drawing a walk.

"I can't pitch like that," Deduno said. "I'm still throwing the ball high. I have to make an adjustment. If I keep the ball down and make my pitches, they're going to hit it anyway, but not like this."

Each of the first six batters he faced in the second inning reached, four of them with a base hit and the other two -- Luis Martinez and Elvis Andrus -- after being hit by a pitch. After plunking Martinez, Deduno fielded a bunt by Craig Gentry and threw it wide of first baseman Justin Morneau, allowing Mitch Moreland to score. The Rangers batted around and scored five times in the inning.

"You've got to make adjustments," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "That bunt play, he kind of botched it and that hurt us. You've got to get an out when they're giving you an out. That's a hot team over there that's swinging really good."

Beltre tripled to left-center field in the first inning, bringing home Josh Hamilton, before hitting an RBI double in the five-run second. He homered to lead off the fifth inning in his next at-bat, before delivering a one-out single off Kyle Waldrop in the seventh to complete the cycle.

"We obviously didn't slow him down tonight," Gardenhire said. "You've got to move the ball in and out, and you've got to make pitches and you can't get behind in the count. When you do, you pay for it."

Beltre's other cycle also came at the Ballpark in Arlington, but it was while he played for the Mariners. He went 5-for-5 in a 12-6 win over the Rangers Sept. 1, 2008, his first three hits coming off Matt Harrison, who tossed eight scoreless innings in his second consecutive start in Friday's victory over the Twins.

"We got him on fire at the right time," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He had been struggling, but it was only a matter of time with Beltre. He stung the ball tonight."

After Ryan Doumit was robbed of a base hit by a diving David Murphy in left field, Trevor Plouffe broke up Harrison's bid for a no-hitter with two outs in the seventh. That was the latest a Rangers pitcher had gone without allowing a hit since Rich Harden exited a game against the Twins on Aug. 23, 2010, after tossing 6 2/3 scoreless innings.

"Our goal isn't to break up no-hitters. It's to get back in the game right there," Plouffe said. "I kind of had an idea of what he was trying to do to me. I knew that he was pitching well and it would be a tough at-bat, but I had a bunch of confidence."

Harrison gave up two hits, a pair of seventh-inning singles, while striking out five and walking two over eight shutout innings. He became the second player in Rangers history to give up just two hits over eight scoreless in back-to-back starts.

"He was working both sides of the plate with everything and he was commanding his fastball," Mastroianni said. "He wasn't using his breaking ball all that much. He was just working off his fastball and cutter, hitting spots with that pitch. That fastball gets in there pretty quick. He was really good with guys on base, keeping the pace of the game moving, and he just hit his spots tonight."

In his first outing since being recalled from Triple-A Rochester, Waldrop gave up one run on four hits over three innings, striking out two and walking none. He took the loss in his previous outing for the Twins, also at the Ballpark in Arlington, when he gave up the go-ahead run in a 10-inning, 4-3 loss to the Rangers on July 7.

ChristianCorona is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.