Diamond keeps doubleheader opener tidy

  • Article by: JASON GONZALEZ , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 1, 2012 - 2:06 AM

The lefthander worked quickly, kept his teammates in the shade and made it through eight innings.

hide

Scott Diamond was a picture of efficiency during Saturday's doubleheader opener. The lefthander scattered six hits and gave up two runs over eight innings. "To be able to go eight today feels pretty good," he said.

Photo: Megan Tan, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Doubleheaders are no big deal, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire insisted before a long day at Target Field.

The 18 innings waiting on the field for his team were of no concern to Gardenhire as long as they included a pair of extended starts from his pitchers.

The request was clear and Twins starting pitcher Scott Diamond was well-prepared for the need in Game 1 of Saturday's doubleheader. The lefthander was fresh off a career-long start and maintained his rhythm during the afternoon game. He lasted eight innings and picked up a 7-2 victory over the Kansas City Royals.

"To be able to go eight today feels pretty good," Diamond said. "I just tried to keep the innings as quick as I could so we could get back in there in the shade. I'd rather have [teammates] in the shade than sitting around in the sun."

The extended start never was in question for Diamond. He worked swiftly throughout the afternoon, averaging four- to five-minute innings into the sixth. He faced only one batter more than the minimum in the first five innings before giving up a run.

He threw 48 pitches during that span, relying heavily on his defense and striking out none.

"You just hope your starters carry you a little bit to give you innings and a chance to win the ballgames," Gardenhire said before the game.

Diamond matched his career-long outing of eight innings he earned a week ago against Cincinnati. The young pitcher knew he was doing something special as he battled through some late-inning bumps. With runners on second and third and a run already across in the eighth, Diamond struck out Billy Butler to end the threat.

A subtle and quick jerk of his throwing arm following the final out was all the emotion the lefty showed in his seventh win.

He threw 101 pitches, giving up two runs on six hits and two walks with four strikeouts. Glen Perkins pitched a scoreless ninth for the Twins.

"I try to hide [emotion] for the most part, but I was pretty happy because I felt like that was a big pitch and a big at-bat and I really think that [Butler] is a game-changer," Diamond said with a smile.

The quick learner already is benefitting from last week's extended start. Diamond said he has adjusted his preparation and in-game approach to lengthen outings, something catcher Ryan Doumit recognized.

"We had a good pace going, and he was working strike one all day." Doumit said. "It makes it a lot easier [on long days]. The more time you can spend in the dugout the better."

Offense was no problem for the Twins. Royals starter Jonathan Sanchez handed out free passes all afternoon. Sanchez struggled to throw strikes, and eventually the Twins capitalized.

The erratic pitching overwhelmed Sanchez in the fifth inning, though it was the only frame during which he didn't issue one of his six walks. He gave up five consecutive hits for four runs before his day ended.

Alexi Casilla collected two of the RBI in the Twins' four-run fifth and finished 3-for-4 with two stolen bases.

"Always goes with your starting pitcher. Diamond was fantastic ... was ahead and had some quick innings early, which really helped us," Gardenhire said. "We kept saying, 'Take what they give you' ... We kept running and finally put some runs up on the board, and Diamond did the rest."

  • GAME 1 TWINS 7, KANSAS CITY 2 GAME 2 TWINS 5, KANSAS CITY 1 Up next: 1:10 p.m. today vs. Royals Target Field • TV: FSN (1500-AM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

St. Louis - WP: L. Lynn 4 FINAL
Washington - LP: J. Zimmermann 3
Toronto - WP: M. Buehrle 5 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: C. Kluber 0
LA Angels - LP: C. Wilson 2 FINAL
Detroit - WP: M. Scherzer 5
Baltimore - LP: B. Norris 2 FINAL
Boston - WP: J. Tazawa 4
Minnesota - LP: K. Correia 4 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: B. Chen 5
Cincinnati - LP: T. Cingrani 4 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: E. Jackson 8
Houston - LP: C. Qualls 3 FINAL
Oakland - WP: D. Otero 4
Milwaukee - WP: J. Henderson 8 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: J. Grilli 7
Atlanta - WP: E. Santana 7 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: B. Colon 5
NY Yankees - LP: I. Nova 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: C. Archer 16
Seattle - LP: R. Elias 0 FINAL
Miami - WP: H. Alvarez 7
Chicago WSox - LP: J. Quintana 3 FINAL
Texas - WP: C. Lewis 6
Philadelphia - LP: K. Kendrick 1 FINAL
Colorado - WP: J. Lyles 3
Arizona - LP: M. Bolsinger 6 FINAL
Los Angeles - WP: D. Haren 8
San Francisco - LP: T. Hudson 1 FINAL
San Diego - WP: E. Stults 3
Brooklyn 94 FINAL
Toronto 87
Golden State 109 FINAL
LA Clippers 105
Atlanta 101 FINAL
Indiana 93
Memphis 81 4th Qtr 3:18
Oklahoma City 93
Chicago 3 FINAL(OT)
St. Louis 4
Columbus 4 FINAL(OT)
Pittsburgh 3
Minnesota 1 3rd Prd 4:07
Colorado 3
Houston 0 FINAL
Philadelphia 0
New England 1 FINAL
Chicago 1
San Jose 0 FINAL
Colorado 0
Los Angeles 2 FINAL
Vancouver FC 2
D.C. 1 FINAL
Columbus 1
Toronto FC 1 FINAL
FC Dallas 2
Montreal 0 FINAL
Sporting Kansas City 4
Portland 0 FINAL
Real Salt Lake 1
Seattle 1 2nd Half 25:00
Chivas USA 1
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How much optimism do you have in the Twins today?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close