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Updated: September 10th, 2012 9:40pm
Samuel Deduno continues to pitch well as Twins win third straight game

Samuel Deduno continues to pitch well as Twins win third straight game

by Phil Mackey
1500ESPN.com
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Samuel Deduno was nearly unhittable while helping the Minnesota Twins to a 7-2 victory and third straight win over the Cleveland Indians on Monday night.

The skinny

Deduno continues to make a strong case to be penciled into the 2013 starting rotation.

The 29-year-old right-hander took a no-hitter into the sixth inning on Monday night, eventually completing seven while allowing only two runs. Deduno fanned six, walked three and allowed only two runs on three hits.

"Deduno was throwing the ball over the plate, making them swing the bat," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He had great stuff tonight. ...

"It was the sixth inning and he had 80 pitches, and I was going, 'Oh no, he's going to throw a 150-pitch no-hitter and I'm going to leave him out there.' So I got a little nervous there. My stomach starts turning and stuff like that. But it was fun to watch."

Deduno was aided by great defensive plays in the infield by Pedro Florimon and Alexi Casilla, and also a diving catch in the outfield by Ben Revere.

"Really happy with the defense," Gardenhire said. "The defense was outstanding."

He has now allowed three earned runs or fewer in 10 of his 12 starts, and after walking 36 in his first eight starts, Deduno has issued only seven free passes in his last four outings.

A sac fly by Justin Morneau gave the Twins a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth off Indians right-hander Justin Masterson.

Michael Brantley collected Cleveland's first hit with a single up the middle in the top of the sixth. Shin-Soo Choo moved to third base on the play and scored on a sac fly by Carlos Santana to tie the game, 1-1.

The Twins retook the lead in the bottom of the sixth when Florimon, who tripled, scored on Ben Revere's RBI single. Justin Morneau followed shortly after with an RBI single to make it 3-1.

In the seventh inning, Lonnie Chisenhall hit a bullet off Deduno into the flower bed in the right-field overhang to cut Minnesota's lead to 3-2.

Florimon extended the lead to two once again with an RBI double in the bottom of the seventh, then he later scored on a wild pitch to make it 5-2. Joe Mauer singled with two outs in the inning to extend the cushion to four runs.

Masterson was charged with six earned runs on seven hits and a walk while striking out three in 6 2/3 innings.

Ryan Doumit delivered a solo home run in the bottom of the eighth off right-hander Frank Herrmann.

Turning point

Florimon was the main catalyst for the Twins in this one.

His triple gave the offense a jolt in the sixth, and his double sparked another rally in the seventh.

Florimon received a loud ovation as he walked to the plate in the eighth inning.

"Florimon had one hell of a day out there," Gardenhire said. "He was all over the place, hitting the ball, running around the bases. ...

"He drove some balls the other way tonight in the gap, almost off the wall out there. I think the guy was cheating in on him and he drove it over his head. He can swing it a little bit. He's showing where he can pull some balls through the hole when he has to. So, good stuff."

Numbers game

75: RBIs for Morneau

27,526: Attendance at Target Field on Monday, which marks the lowest crowd in ballpark history

118: Stolen bases by the Twins, which marks the most in a season since the team stole 146 in 2001

16: Home runs for Doumit, which sets a new career high for him

Health report

Chris Parmelee was scratched from the lineup due to a sore right groin. His status is considered day-to-day.

OF Denard Span (collarbone) took batting practice once again on Monday, and his intent is to be ready on Wednesday when eligible to be activated from the disabled list.

On deck

Tuesday: vs. Royals, 7:10 p.m. LHP Scott Diamond (11-6, 3.35) vs. LHP Will Smith (4-7, 5.45)
Wednesday: vs. Royals, 7:10 p.m. RHP P.J. Walters (2-3, 6.05) vs. RHP Luke Hochevar (7-13, 5.35)

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