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Updated: August 29th, 2012 10:03pm
Plouffe, Willingham homer in same game for 7th time in win over M's

Plouffe, Willingham homer in same game for 7th time in win over M's

by Phil Mackey
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MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Twins pounded out 10 runs on 16 hits en route to a 10-0 shutout of the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday night.

The skinny

The Twins offense appeared to take out weeks-worth of frustration on Jason Vargas and the Mariners bullpen.

Joe Mauer, amid waiver speculation, drove home the Twins' first two runs with a bases-loaded single in the third. Justin Morneau followed with a bloop RBI single to make it 3-0.

Trevor Plouffe delivered a two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth inning, and Josh Willingham reached the upper deck in left with a solo shot in the fifth.

Two innings later, Willingham plated the Twins' seventh run with a sacrifice fly that scored Mauer, who tripled, and Plouffe added two more with a two-RBI double.

Prior to the game, after being awarded the 2014 All-Star Game earlier in the day, the Twins held an on-field ceremony that included a handful of baseball legends.

"I do know this -- theories about why we get hits and why we got hits," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Tonight before the game we had three Hall of Famers, in my opinion -- two are there, one should be there; Tony Oliva, (Paul) Molitor and (Rod) Carew -- standing next to our bats. I could see them shaking before the game, and we started getting hits. So all we have to do is have a Hall of Famer stand by our bat rack before every game now and we'll be locked in."

Twins starter Samuel Deduno put together his best performance of the season, holding Seattle scoreless over seven innings while allowing only two hits. Perhaps most importantly, Deduno struck out a career-high nine while walking nobody. He also threw 68 of his 98 pitches for strikes.

The right-hander entered Wednesday's game with several more walks (37) than strikeouts (30).

Eliminating the walks on Wednesday night was "Very important," Deduno said.

"Today was pretty good, working with my mechanics, not thinking too much -- be aggressive every time, and it was pretty good today."

Chris Parmelee singled, reached on an error and scored twice in five trips in his return to the Twins lineup.

Six Twins hitters tallied multiple hits, led by the 3-for-5 performance by Mauer.

Turning point

Home runs by Plouffe and Willingham in the middle innings broke the game open and provided flashbacks to earlier this season when the two sluggers went back-and-forth for the team lead.

Wednesday marked the seventh time this season Plouffe and Willingham have homered in the same game.

Plouffe's homer was his first since July 3.

"The timing just wasn't there (lately)," Plouffe said. "Tonight we really just simplified everything, and I put some good swings on it. Hopefully I can translate that into some more consistency down the stretch here."

Numbers game

32: Home runs for Willingham

20: Home runs for Plouffe

3: The number of starts in which Deduno has allowed only two hits

29,281: Wednesday night's attendance, which again marks the lowest in Target Field hsitory

7: Twins players assigned to the Arizona Fall League (Peoria Javelinas) -- LHP Logan Darnell, RHP Kyle Gibson, LHP Caleb Thielbar, RHP Michael Tonkin, C Chris Herrmann, OF Evan Bigley, OF Nate Roberts

6: The number of games Scott Diamond will be suspended for after dropping his appeal. The suspension stems from last Thursday's incident in Texas where Diamond threw a fastball over the head of Josh Hamilton

Health report

• The Twins found an open-sided MRI machine on Wednesday for outfielder Denard Span (collarbone), who previously was unable to sit still in a traditional MRI machine due to claustrophobia. Results came back "fairly clean," GM Terry Ryan said, but Span remains sore.

• RHP Lester Oliveros was scheduled to undergo clean-up surgery on his right elbow Wednesday, but Doctors Altchek and Buss determined his ligament required Tommy John surgery. Oliveros will likely miss most of the 2013 season.

• OF Joe Benson had clean-up knee surgery, but doctors didn't like what they saw with some of the cartilage around the knee. Benson has been instructed to rest for three or four months after the surgery before resuming baseball activity. He was originally a candidate for the Arizona Fall League.

On deck

Thursday: vs. Mariners, 12:10 p.m. LHP Brian Duensing (3-9, 5.28) vs. RHP Blake Beavan (8-8, 5.10)

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