Results tagged ‘ Brian Duensing ’

Duensing to start Saturday against Reds

PITTSBURGH — Left-hander Brian Duensing will make his first start of the season on Saturday against the Reds, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire announced today.

With Monday’s off-day, the Twins went with a four-man rotation but needed a fifth starter against the Reds with right-handers Carl Pavano and P.J. Walters on the disabled list.

The Twins decided to go with Duensing, who has a 3.12 ERA with 22 strikeouts and nine walks in 34 2/3 innings as a reliever. He last pitched on Tuesday against the Pirates, when he tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings in relief.

Duensing, who threw a bullpen before Thursday’s game, is expected to be restricted to about 50-60 pitches because he hasn’t had the chance to build up his pitch count yet.

“We decided to let him stretch out a little bit and piggyback him with a couple other guys and see what happens, how many innings he goes,” Gardenhire said. “They got some pretty good left-handed hitters in that lineup, so you try a lefty over there too.”

Part of the reason the Twins went with Duensing is because two of the top Reds hitters — Joey Votto and Jay Bruce — are left-handed. But Duensing has also improved against right-handers this season, as they posted a .947 OPS against him last year but have a .645 OPS against him this year.

Duensing, though, said he’s not sure why he’s been so much better against right-handed hitters this season.

“I don’t know,” Duensing said. “Maybe I’m making some better pitches. When I’ve gone in I’ve gone down and in instead of up and in. I’ve been throwing strikes in there and they have to be aware of that instead of disregarding that and look middle away. So that’s been the issue too. And I’ve had some good luck on top of it, too.”

Duensing, who has made 50 career starts including 28 last year, said he’s hoping his return to the rotation is similar to both ’09 and ’10, when he joined the rotation to much success after starting out in the bullpen. He posted a 2.73 ERA in nine starts in ’09, and had a 3.05 ERA in 13 starts in ’10.

“If I could throw like that it’d be great,” Duensing said. “I’m really hoping that will happen. I don’t know. But hopefully I’ll go out there and do well and give the team a chance to win and not hurt the bullpen too bad.”

Game 21: Twins, Pavano struggle vs. Orioles

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Twins saw their five-game winning streak come to an end in an 11-1 loss to the Orioles on Thursday at Hammond Stadium.

Minnesota will look to get back on track when they travel north to face the Yankees on Friday at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa.

What went right: Not too much, as the Twins gave up 14 hits and had just five hits of their own.

Joe Mauer went 2-for-3 with an RBI double and is now hitting .313 this spring. Ben Revere and Michael Hollimon both doubled as well. Revere is hitting .343, while Hollimon is batting .500. Chris Parmelee went 1-for-2 and is hitting .333.

Left-hander Brian Duensing was the only Twins pitcher not to give up a run, as he tossed a scoreless fifth inning. He’s yet to allow a run in six innings this spring.

What went wrong: Right-hander Carl Pavano got a preview of the team he’s going to face on Opening Day, and got shelled.

Pavano allowed six runs on eight hits, including a homer, a triple and three doubles. His ERA now stands at 6.11 this spring.

Matt Capps served up a solo homer to Chris Davis in the sixth before Brendan Wise gave up a two-run homer to Trent Mummy in the eighth. Glen Perkins also struggled, giving up two runs on four hits in one inning of work.

Justin Morneau continued his struggles at the plate, going 0-for-3 to see his average tumble to .091 (3-for-33. But he did hit a hard liner to left in the fourth before lining out to third in the seventh.

What they said: “It really picked up today as you saw,” Gardenhire said when asked if things are expected start to pick up after Wednesday’s off-day. “Everybody really rose to the occasion. No. It was a dead day really. We played about six or seven good ballgames in a row or so, but today was really dead.”

What’s next: Left-hander Francisco Liriano is set to start against the Yankees at Steinbrenner Field on Friday at 12:05 p.m. PT. Liriano has been excellent this spring, posting a 2.77 ERA with 18 strikeouts and two walks allowed over 13 innings pitched. Right-handers Alex Burnett, Jeff Manship and Jared Burton are also scheduled to pitch for the Twins. Right-hander Ivan Nova starts for New York.

Injury update: Twins right-hander Scott Baker (elbow tendonitis) pitched two scoreless innings in a Minor League game. But he also threw just 23 pitches, and could end up on the disabled list to start the season. … Trevor Plouffe participated in a light workout, as he’s still battling a strained right hamstring.

Duensing gets another shot at the Yankees

Left-hander Brian Duensing, who will make his first start of the season tonight against the Yankees, seemed excited but loose when talking to reporters Monday.

He joked about how he hasn’t pitched in a game since March 26, so in a recent bullpen session he had pitching coach Rick Anderson stand in at the plate to simulate pitching to a hitter. But one pitch, however, didn’t exactly go where he wanted it, as he nearly hit Anderson in the head with an errant fastball.

“I almost killed him,” Duening said with a laugh. “It was a fastball about head-high. I almost dropped it coming back, and instead of stopping my motion, I continued with it. He was already backing up, thank goodness. The next pitch was the hardest thing I had to do after throwing a pitch like that. I was in between laughing, crying and sweating all at the same time. It was bad.”

Duensing is hoping he’ll have better control when he faces the Yankees at new Yankee Stadium, a place he hasn’t exactly had great results at in the past. He’s only made two starts here, but they came in the postseason, and are two games he’d rather forget. Duensing allowed a combined 10 runs over eight innings in two defeats, including a Game 3 loss in last year’s ALDS that knocked the Twins out of the playoffs.

“I’d like to have a good outing so that I’ll like coming here,” Duensing said. “Right now, I don’t like it at all. But it’s a new year so we’ll see how it happens. You know my policy. Expect the worst, so that if it happens, you don’t get surprised by it.”

The Twins certainly hope Duensing isn’t at his worst, as they’re facing Yankees ace CC Sabathia, who has a career 3.05 ERA with 143 strikeouts and 62 walks over 191 2/3 innings against the Twins.

The Twins will also be without first baseman Justin Morneau, who is getting his first day off of the season with Michael Cuddyer getting the start at first. Jason Repko will also make his first start of the season in right field.

Lineups for the 6:05 p.m. CT start at Yankee Stadium:

Twins

1. Denard Span, CF
2. Tsuyoshi Nishioka, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Delmon Young, LF
5. Michael Cuddyer, 1B
6. Jason Kubel, DH
7. Danny Valencia, 3B
8. Jason Repko, RF
9. Alexi Casilla, SS

LHP Brian Duensing (first start)

Yankees

1. Derek Jeter, SS
2. Nick Swisher, RF
3. Mark Teixeira, 1B
4. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
5. Robinson Cano, 2B
6. Jorge Posada, DH
7. Russell Martin, C
8. Andruw Jones, LF
9. Curtis Granderson, CF

LHP CC Sabatha (0-0, 3.00 ERA, 3.50 K/BB, 1.67 FIP)

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