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Updated: July 29th, 2012 3:40pm
Last-minute notice doesn't deter Brian Duensing as Twins sweep Indians

Last-minute notice doesn't deter Brian Duensing as Twins sweep Indians

by Phil Mackey
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MINNEAPOLIS -- On Day 1 of the post-Francisco Liriano era, the Minnesota Twins completed a three-game sweep of the Cleveland Indians with a 5-1 victory at Target Field.

The skinny

Brian Duensing didn't find out he was spot-starting Sunday's game until after the Francisco Liriano trade became official around 10:30 p.m. Saturday night.

Maybe he should be given late notice before every start.

Duensing held the Indians to just one run on five hits while striking out two in six innings.

"I was actually watching some of the Olympics on DVR and just happened to check Twitter, and a lot of people were asking me if I was throwing (Sunday) and wished me good luck," Duensing said.

"I was thinking, 'I'm in the 'pen, I don't know when I'm going to throw. This is kind of weird.' So I checked the Twins website and saw that Liriano was traded and read that I was starting, so I texted Rick Anderson and tried to confirm it, and he said yeah. He asked if I was alright with it, and I'm not going to say no."

Duensing's last start went very poorly. He allowed six earned runs on seven hits, including three home runs, in just two innings against the Oakland A's on July 15. The Twins decided to shift him back to the bullpen after the rough outing, but with Liriano gone Duensing might receive more opportunities to start.

"I'll do whatever they want me to do," said Duensing, who has bounced back and forth from bullpen to rotation several times over the last three years. "I'm not going to go in there and plead my case or anything like that. I'm just going to do what they ask me to do. ...

"I mean, I'm interested, yeah. I'd like to be a starter. I would like to start. But I don't feel like I'm in a spot to go in there and, I guess, beg, so to speak, to try and get it."

Justin Morneau continued his recent hot hitting with a towering, two-run blast in the bottom of the fourth inning off Indians right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez that put the Twins in front 2-1. He also singled twice, raising his batting line to .260/.322/.457.

Ben Revere scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the fifth, then he added a two-run single in the bottom of the seventh to put the Twins up 5-1.

With the victory, the Twins completed just their third three-game sweep of the season.

Turning point

Revere's two-run single in the seventh inning stretched a two-run lead to a four-run lead, giving the Twins bullpen some breathing room.

The crooked number was set up by a successful double steal off lefty Tony Sipp and catcher Lou Marson -- Brian Dozier taking third base and Denard Span taking second.

Numbers game

13: Home runs for Morneau.

198: Career home runs for Morneau.

24: Stolen bases on the season for Revere, who swiped second and third in the bottom of the first inning.

5: Stolen bases in the game for the Twins.

0: Hits for Danny Valencia in four at-bats, lowering his batting line on the season to .185/.198/.287.

Health report

• RHP Anthony Swarzak, diagnosed with a mild rotator cuff strain last week, will work on strengthening and stretching and won't play catch for about 10 days. "I'm pretty anxious to get back," Swarzak said. "I can't wait to get back out there and help the team. I'm feeling pretty good where my stuff is at, so hopefully my arm bounces back and I can get out there and get some more outs."


"Good luck."
-- Manager Ron Gardenhire, when asked what he'll tell his hitters when they face Liriano on Tuesday.

On deck

Monday: vs. White Sox, 7:10 p.m. RHP Cole De Vries (2-2, 3.64) vs. LHP Jose Quintana (4-1, 2.58)
Tuesday: vs. White Sox, 7:10 p.m. RHP Nick Blackburn (4-6, 7.99) vs. LHP Francisco Liriano (3-10, 5.31)
Wednesday: vs. White Sox, 12:10 p.m. LHP Scott Diamond (9-4, 2.88) vs. RHP Jake Peavy (8-7, 3.15)

Phil Mackey is a columnist for He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd