BOSTON — Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire can put up with Samuel Deduno’s wildness as long as the starter keeps limiting opponents to just two hits.
The right-hander who spent five years in the minors before reaching the majors allowed two hits for his second straight strong outing and the Twins beat the Boston Red Sox 5-0 on Thursday night.
Deduno (3-0) walked four and struck out one in six innings before two relievers combined for three perfect innings. In his previous start, he allowed one run on two hits and five walks in a 12-5 win over Cleveland.
“I know his ball-strike ratio wasn’t the greatest, but sometimes that works,” Gardenhire said. “He was able to make pitches when he had to and that’s all you really care about.”
Deduno had an outstanding curveball and slider. He also has a fastball that moves so much that his catchers sometimes wonder where it will end up. And it led to him throwing only 50 of his 101 pitches for strikes.
“He’s got a very live fastball,” said shortstop Brian Dozier, who played with Deduno at Triple-A Rochester this season. “It cuts. It sinks. It rides. I don’t know how he grips it, but he just kind of shoots for the middle of the plate.”
Deduno, making his sixth major league start, has given up just two earned runs and 10 hits in 19 1-3 innings
“My curveball and my slider are pretty good, but my fastball is still moving like crazy,” said Deduno, who reached the majors in 2010 and pitched six games in relief for Colorado and San Diego. “”This is the most fun. This is the dream to play in the big leagues and to stay not just for one month or two months.”
Adrian Gonzalez got both Boston hits, a single and double. Casey Fien retired the side in order in the seventh and Glen Perkins pitched two perfect innings for his sixth save in nine opportunities.
Deduno overshadowed one of the best performances of Jon Lester’s rough season. Boston’s lefty gave up three runs and seven hits in eight innings with seven strikeouts and no walks.
“I don’t feel like I have thrown the ball that well all year,” he said.
Lester (5-9) had allowed 25 runs in his previous four starts but improved in his last one, allowing four runs in six innings. And he was much better on Thursday despite dropping to 0-4 in his last six starts and 2-7 at Fenway Park this season.
“Just another one of those hard luck outings,” manager Bobby Valentine said. “He pitched awfully well. 2-0 doesn’t seem insurmountable but it was tonight.”
The Twins took a 2-0 lead in the third inning on a single by Dozier, an RBI double by Denard Span and a run-scoring single by Ben Revere that extended his career-best hitting streak to 16 games. They made it 3-0 in the sixth on consecutive doubles by Justin Morneau and Ryan Doumit. Dozier added his third hit of the game and fifth homer of the season, a two-run shot in the ninth off Alfredo Aceves.
“That was pretty cool, man. It was one of the best feelings so far since I’ve been up here,” said Dozier, who was called up from Rochester on May 7. “I got it pretty good. It was a 2-0 fastball up in the zone and I knew he didn’t want to walk me and so he’s coming with the fastball. So I closed my eyes and hit it.”
The Twins won for the fifth time in seven games, while the Red Sox dropped their second straight after winning four in a row.
Deduno got 11 of his 18 outs on groundballs and stranded runners at second base in three innings.
With two outs in the first, he walked Dustin Pedroia and Gonzalez then retired Cody Ross on a popup to shortstop. In the third, Gonzalez doubled with one out, Ryan Lavarnway walked with two outs but Will Middlebrooks flied out to center. And with two outs in the sixth, Boston threatened with consecutive singles by Gonzalez and Ross before Lavarnway lined out to left.
Deduno raised both arms as he walked off the mound.
Notes: Span stretched his hitting streak to 11 games. … Gonzalez went 2-for-3 with a walk, his 18th muiltihit game in his last 34. … Minnesota C Joe Mauer was given the night off to rest. He is hitting .352 in his last 57 games. … The Red Sox stranded runners in scoring position in three of the first six innings. … Minnesota’s Brian Duensing (2-6) is scheduled to pitch Friday night’s second game of the four-game series against Felix Doubront (10-5). … Boston is 10-10 since the All-Star break. And 289-291 all-time against Minnesota.
NATIONALS 3, PHILLIES 0: Ross Detwiler pitched three-hit ball for seven innings, Adam LaRoche homered and the Washington Nationals beat the Philadelphia Phillies 3-0 on Thursday night.
LaRoche had three hits and two RBIs. Jayson Werth also drove in a run for the NL East leaders in his first game back from a broken wrist.
Detwiler (6-4) won for the second time in his last 11 starts. He gave up three singles and retired his final 14 batters, finishing with three strikeouts and two walks.
Sean Burnett tossed a perfect eighth and Tyler Clippard worked a hitless ninth for his 21st save in 23 chances. He walked two but struck out pinch-hitter Ryan Howard for the third out.
Howard is in a 2-for-20 slump.
Cole Hamels (11-6) allowed three runs and eight hits in seven innings. The All-Star lefty has one win in his past seven starts and has lost both outings since signing a $144 million, six-year contract last month.
Hamels won his previous two starts against Washington this season, giving up one earned run in 16 innings.
LaRoche had a second-inning home run, his 20th, to go with a run-scoring single in the third and a single in the sixth. He was thrown out by Phillies right fielder John Mayberry Jr. when he tried to score on Steve Lombardozzi’s fly ball.
Philadelphia’s best chance to score came in the second, but Mayberry was cut down at the plate by right fielder Bryce Harper when he tried to score on Michael Martinez’s single.
LaRoche has hit in 10 straight games and is batting .432 during the stretch.
Werth, who missed nearly three months with a broken left wrist, was activated before the game and singled after LaRoche’s home run. He drove in the third run in the third inning on an infield out.
NOTES: Washington RHP Jordan Zimmermann was named NL pitcher of the month for July. He joins RHP Stephen Strasburg (April) and LHP Gio Gonzalez (May) to give the Nationals the most teammates to win the monthly award since the Houston Astros had four in 1979. … Washington placed RHP Henry Rodriguez on the disabled list with a lower back strain. … Nationals LF Michael Morse has an 11-game hitting streak. … The Phillies open a three-game series at Arizona on Friday. RHP Joe Blanton (8-9, 4.59 ERA) faces RHP Ian Kennedy (9-8, 4.20). … Washington and Miami play a doubleheader on Friday. LHP John Lannan (1-0, 2.57) and Gonzalez (13-5, 3.27) will pitch for the Nationals against LHP Brad Hand (no record) and RHP Josh Johnson (6-7, 4.04). Lannan and Hand are being recalled from the minors to start the first game.