Samuel Deduno had his best outing of the season for the Twins on Saturday, holding the Tigers to two runs over seven innings while walking only one batter in the 6-3 victory. There was concern that he wouldn’t be able to last long.
Deduno cracked a fingernail during his pregame bullpen session. That could lead to finger problems — blisters, blood, etc.
“Especially [throwing] his breaking ball,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “I was worried.”
Was Deduno worried? “Nope,” he said. “I put a little glue on it in the bullpen.”
With his fingernail repaired, Deduno went out and handled a tough lineup. Over seven innings, he gave up two runs on seven hits with one walk and two strikeouts. The one walk was the fewest he had given up this season, a result of him spotting his fastball as well as he has since he was recalled from Class AAA Rochester.
“Sammy was really good,” Gardenhire said. “Just mixing it up.”
Deduno, 3-1 with a 3.26 ERA, has had pretty good control of his curveball. If he has made a breakthrough with his fastball, he could get on a roll. Tigers hitters, like many others when Deduno is on, seemed to struggle picking up his pitches Saturday.
“I love watching him pitch, especially if he is around the zone like that,” Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe said. “He’s a tough guy. If he can throw strikes like that. he’s one of the better ones in the league.”
Stewart signing soon
The Twins are close to signing righthander Kohl Stewart, their top pick in the draft.
Stewart is set to arrive in the Twin Cities early this week to take a physical and meet members of the organization.
The club doesn’t announce signings until after the player has passed a physical, but that announcement might come as early as Tuesday.
Stewart was the No. 4 overall pick in the draft. The assigned value for that pick is a bonus of $4,544,400, although teams can go above or below that number as long as they don’t spend more than what they are assigned for the first 10 rounds.
The Twins have signed several draft picks, including five of their first 10. Seventh-round pick Brian Gilbert, a righthander from Seton Hall; ninth-round pick Mitchell Garver, a catcher from the University of New Mexico; and 10th-rounder Charles Irby, a righthander from Samford, were all signed in recent days.
The Twins also have signed 30th-round pick Tanner Vavra, a second baseman and son of Twins coach Joe Vavra.
• Twins General Manager Terry Ryan was in attendance on Thursday when Coon Rapids righthander Logan Shore threw a no-hitter against Wayzata. The Twins drafted Shore in the 29th round but don’t expect to sign him. The Twins hope they sign their first 26 picks from the draft.
• Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter did not start. Manager Jim Leyland wanted to give him a day off, although Hunter did pinch hit in the ninth inning.
• Outfielder Wilkin Ramirez will leave Sunday for Fort Myers for the next phase of his comeback from a concussion suffered on May 25 at Detroit. Ramirez will work out at the minicamp the club holds for recently drafted players for about a week. If that goes well, he will join Class A Fort Myers on a rehabilitation assignment.
• Sunday is the final day of the Prostate Cancer Foundation Home Run Challenge. Since June 9, the Twins have pledged $10,000 for every home run hit and $1,000 for every strikeout. P.J. Walters also has pledged $1,000 for every strikeout he records.