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As ace left-handed pitcher Scott Diamond continues to explore uncharted territory for his career in total innings pitched, the Minnesota Twins know it is in their best interests to keep a watchful eye on their 26-year-old phenom as the season winds down.
"We're very aware of the innings pitched," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire told the Pioneer Press on Wednesday. "He's going to be right up there at 200 innings when it's all said and done. We know where he's at, and we know how many starts he has left."
Diamond is 11-6 with a 3.35 earned-run average this year for the Twins over 142.1 big-league innings, but also took the mound six times at the Triple-A level to bump his overall innings to a relatively high total of 177. The promising young starter pitched a total of 158.1 innings in 2010 and 162 last season -- numbers worth noting, even if it's hard to believe the organization would shut Diamond down for what may amount to a single start.
The White Sox took advantage two walks and a single in the first inning, with Alex Rios hitting a one-out Grand Slam to give Chicago a 4-0 lead. Walters would rebound and hold on through the sixth inning when Rios would hit another two-run home run and chase the Twins starter after 5.0 innings.
The Twins would get on the board in the top of the third with a sacrifice fly by Eduardo Escobar and again in the ninth when Matt Carson's sacrifice scored Ryan Doumit. It would not be enough, however, with the Twins scoring just two runs on eight hits in the game.
The Twins lost two of three to the White Sox and have Thursday off before welcoming the Cleveland Indians to town for ten-game home stand over the next two weeks.
Minnesota Twins starter P.J. Walters (2-2, 5.40 ERA) had his best start of the season May 22 when he pitched a complete game against the Chicago White Sox, giving up two earned runs and striking out eight in a 9-2 win. Walters faces the White Sox for the second time this season at 1:10 p.m. CT Wednesday in the series finale between the two teams.
Chicago counters with Jake Peavy (9-10, 3.28 ERA). Peavy has lost three straight decisions, including giving up six earned runs in six innings in his last start Aug. 31 against Detroit. He is 2-1 with a 2.25 ERA in three starts against the Twins this season.
Minnesota is coming off its most impressive offensive showing of the season, beating Chicago 18-9 in Tuesday's game.
It can sometimes take the Minnesota Twins a week or longer to score 18 runs, but they hit that total in just one game on Tuesday night against the Chicago White Sox. The Twins put up seven runs in the second inning and 10 runs in the fifth inning before adding one run in the top of the seventh on their way to coasting to a victory.
Minnesota hung those first seven runs on Chicago starter Jose Quintana, who was knocked out after 1.1 innings. In that second inning, the Twins managed to plate seven despite no extra base hits -- a two-run single from ex-White Sox infielder Eduardo Escobar qualified as the inning's big blast.
That wasn't quite the case in the fifth inning, where Trevor Plouffe knocked a triple and Chris Parmelee crushed a three-run homer. In the seventh inning, Ryan Doumit smacked a solo homer to centerfield.
The two teams will finish their series on Wednesday at 1:10 p.m. CT.
The Twins will welcome recently activated pitcher Scott Diamond back to the mound. The 26-year-old left-hander wrapped up his six-game suspension for throwing at the head of Texas Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton during a game in late August. Diamond enters in search of his 11th victory of the season and will clearly be anxious to put this unfortunate situation behind him with a big performance.
Here are Tuesday's lineups:
1. Ben Revere, CF
2. Jamey Carroll, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Josh Willingham, DH
5. Justin Morneau, 1B
6. Ryan Doumit, LF
7. Chris Parmelee, RF
8. Trevor Plouffe, 3B
9. Eduardo Escobar, SS
Scott Diamond, SP
1. Alejandro De Aza, CF
2. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
3. Adam Dunn, LF
4. Paul Konerko, 1B
5. Alex Rios, RF
6. Dayan Viciedo, LF
7. Alexei Ramirez, SS
8. Tyler Flowers, C
9. Gordon Beckham, 2B
Jose Quintana, SP
The ninth inning stopper in the Minnesota Twins bullpen seems set for the 2013 season. Left-hander Glen Perkins has done enough while stepping in for the injured Matt Capps to earn the job. Ron Gardenhire eloquently assessed the situation for reporters Tuesday:
Asked this week how he feels about Perkins being his closer, manager Ron Gardenhire said, "He is my closer."
Perkins, 29, has converted 10 of 11 save opportunities this year, and has 130 strikeouts and a 2.55 ERA in 120 innings over the past two years. The Twins signed him to a three-year, $10.3 million extension this past winter.
Right-hander Jared Burton, signed as to a minor league deal after two injury prone seasons for the Reds, has also chipped in five saves since Capps went down on June 15. Capps has a $6 million team option with a $250,000 buyout for 2013.
Minnesota Twins rookie Scott Diamond is ready to move on from his six-game suspension, he told the team's official website. Diamond was suspended for a pitch near the head of Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers in a game between the two teams on Aug. 23. Diamond initially appealed the suspension but eventually dropped the appeal, and now sounds like he's looking forward:
"It's a little frustrating the way it all played out. But at the same time, that's the way it happened. I can't deny what happened."
Diamond has a 10-6 record in 21 starts for the Twins, posting a 3.21 ERA and an average of 4.8 strikeouts per nine innings. He has also spent a portion of the 2012 season in the minors, going 4-1 with a 2.60 ERA in six starts for the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings.
Diamond was suspended for throwing a retaliation fastball behind Texas Rangers star Josh Hamilton. He'll face a White Sox team that is one game up on the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central standings. The White Sox will send Jose Quintana to the mound.
Diamond only won one of six starts in August, but he has allowed more than three earned runs in just one of his last seven starts. The Twins are 3-10 against Chicago this season after Monday's loss and will look to even the series.
Samuel Deduno allowed the two runs over six innings in the start and was hit with the loss. Deduno gave up six hits and three walks while striking out three. Both runs came on a home run from Gordon Beckham.
In the fifth inning, Jamey Carroll hit a solo home run to cut the deficit in half. A single from Paul Konerko in the seventh extended the lead to 3-1. The Twins got a run back in the top of the eighth, but Chicago answered in the bottom frame.
The Minnesota Twins begin a three-game series vs. the Chicago White Sox on Monday night at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago. Samuel Deduno, who will be looking to build on a strong start his last time out, will be on the mound for the Twins.
Deduno's previous outing was his best of the season, as he pitched seven shutout innings against the Seattle Mariners on Aug. 29. He struck out a season-high nine batters in the game and didn't walk anyone, while allowing only two hits. He'll face tougher competition on Monday, but the White Sox have yet to face the 29-year-old righty in his career, which could work in Deduno's favor. Here are the full lineups:
The White Sox will send Hector Santiago (2-1, 3.91 ERA) to the hill to make his first career start.. First pitch is scheduled for 6:10 p.m. CT.
For more in-depth coverage of this series, visit Twins blog Twinkie Town and White Sox blog South Side Sox. And for more news, notes and analysis from around Major League Baseball, check out Baseball Nation.
The Minnesota Twins will use the rest of the season to look at their younger, less experienced players.
The Twins begin a series in Chicago on Monday.