KANSAS CITY, MO. - Righthander Samuel Deduno has good breaking stuff. The problem has been harnessing his fastball.
Deduno has been throwing not one, but two bullpen sessions between starts to try to fix the problem. The second session is a shorter one, just five minutes or so, but it's designed to help him with his command of the pitch.
And Deduno definitely was better on Sunday, when the Twins defeated the Royals 7-5 for his first major league victory.
He held Kansas City to one run and six hits over 6 1/3 innings, with three walks with four strikeouts. He got his first victory during his third major league start and ninth major league appearance.
Deduno, who signed as a free agent during the offseason and received a nonroster inviation to spring training, was getting the game ball signed by teammates afterward.
"I feel pretty happy," he said. "I thank God for everything."
Of the 104 pitches Deduno threw on Sunday, 73 were for strikes. If he gets ahead in the count, he can be tough for an opponent to handle.
"He threw the ball over a lot more and used his breaking ball," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.
Plouffe still out
Third baseman Trevor Plouffe missed his second game in a row because of a bruised thumb, but the Twins remain hopeful he will be able to play during the White Sox series, which starts on Monday in Chicago.
Gardenhire said he has had the same injury and knew Plouffe would need a couple of days to recover. He said the thumb improved significantly after Saturday's game and that Plouffe is on the right road to recovery.
Morneau still out, too
Twins first baseman Justin Morneau missed a second game while he is in the Twin Cities with his wife, Krista, who gave birth to the couple's second child on Saturday. The boy is named Martin and will be called Marty for short.
Morneau gets three days to be away from the team, according to the league's paternity policy. Any day after that, and the Twins would have to play shorthanded.
The Twins called up first baseman Chris Parmelee from Class AAA Rochester to replace Morneau for the three days. He doesn't have to be the one to return when Morneau's time is up, so it will be interesting to see if the club decides to keep Parmelee and go back to a 12-man pitching staff. The Twins currently have 13 pitchers on the major league roster.
• Righthander Carl Pavano, who hasn't pitched in a game for the Twins since June 1, climbed on a mound Sunday for the first time since then and made it through a bullpen session at Target Field. Pavano has been slowed longer than anyone thought because of shoulder soreness and weakness, but he feels healthy and is trying to work his way back to action.
• Class AA New Britain outfielder Oswaldo Arcia was named the Twins minor league player of the week after batting .370 with three home runs and 13 RBI in eight games.
• Royals manager Ned Yost and shortstop Alcides Escobar were ejected before the bottom of the ninth inning for arguing a close play at second base from two innings earlier. On the play, Escobar grounded to deep shortstop, and Chris Getz was called out at second even though he appeared to beat Brian Dozier's throw to Alexi Casilla.