Twins get lift from pitching rotation in win over RoyalsPublished 4:50am Friday, June 28, 2013
MINNEAPOLIS — Samuel Deduno had that ever-important command, of his fastball and his emotions.
The key to keeping calm?
“Oh, just breathe,” Deduno said with a smile after he pitched seven sharp innings to send the Minnesota Twins to a 3-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Thursday.
One of Justin Morneau’s two doubles drove in Minnesota’s first run in the fourth, and Deduno took over from there.
“Some guys really look like they think they’re going to hit it, and then all of a sudden it just kind of moves late on them,” said Morneau, who handled more than his share of groundouts at first base during Deduno’s outing. “He did a really nice job tonight. That was what we needed.”
Deduno (4-2) gave up only five hits and, more importantly, one walk. He struck out three and let only eight fair balls leave the infield. Jared Burton pitched a scoreless eighth and Glen Perkins notched his 20th save in 22 tries with a scoreless ninth inning despite allowing a walk and a double.
The Twins even managed to beat Jeremy Guthrie (7-6). The right-hander topped them twice earlier this season and brought a 6-2 record over nine previous career matchups into the game. Guthrie gave up an RBI single to Oswaldo Arcia right after Morneau’s big hit, but the other run he allowed was unearned.
Salvador Perez’s soaring home run, to the second deck in left field, was the only evidence of success by the Royals against the improving Deduno, who last year couldn’t find the plate despite showing some potential with his lively right arm.
“Everything moves. Just tough,” Royals designated hitter Billy Butler said. “He’s got a good slider. Hard curve. He’s just real efficient.”
After shining for the Dominican Republic during the World Baseball Classic in March, Deduno has finally found the control of his fastball that escaped him before. His career walks-per-nine-innings ratio was 5.2 entering this game, buoyed by the 53 he issued last season.