Mastroianni shows he belongs; Deduno controls what he can

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 14, 2012 - 7:00 AM

view larger photos


The scrap heap was good to the Twins last winter. They plucked outfielder Darin Mastroianni off waivers from the Blue Jays and watched him turn into the guy their Class AAA Rochester staff couldn't wait to recommend for a promotion.

"They told me he was their most exciting baseball player," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I agree 100 percent with them. He's a very exciting baseball player."

And then there's righthander Sam Deduno, who was released by the Padres last year after barely getting a shot in the big leagues.

Both players were instrumental on Monday night as the Twins ended a four-game losing streak by defeating the Tigers 9-3 at Target Field.

Mastroianni went 3-for-5 with a home run and three RBI, stole his 14th base in 16 chances and made a diving catch in right field to help stymie Detroit's comeback attempt in the eighth inning.

Deduno (4-0) racked up five walks again, but he held the Tigers to one run on two hits over the first seven innings. With the Twins leading 8-1, Gardenhire let him start the eighth inning for the first time this year, and Detroit ended his night with three consecutive hits.

Gardenhire patted Deduno's chest as he took the ball, and with the crowd giving a loud ovation, the 29-year-old rookie triumphantly thrust both fists in the air on his way back to the dugout. "Just thanks, God, for everything," Deduno said. "That's what I said."

It was the fourth time Deduno has allowed five walks in a game, but none of those has turned into a loss. In fact, the Twins are 6-1 in his starts.

Deduno spent most of last season with San Diego's Class AAA affiliate, making just two relief appearances in the majors.

Monday was Ryan Doumit's first chance to catch Deduno in a game. "I've never seen anything like that before in my life," Doumit said. "I hope he stays with us. I know I never want to face him.

"I had tons of anxiety before catching him tonight because I'd caught him in between innings other times and thought, 'He's filthy.'

"If he can learn to harness it and maybe cut down on the walks, I think he has the chance to be pretty special."

Mastroianni gave the Twins a 2-1 lead in the fifth inning when he hit his third homer of the season just beyond the left-field wall off Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez (1-3). Mastroianni added a two-run, two-out single in the sixth, and Doumit stretched the lead to 8-1 with a three-run homer in the seventh.

Mastroianni, who turns 27 on Aug. 26, is establishing himself as the kind of fourth outfielder the Twins would love to have for years. He's batting .296 with a .361 on-base percentage.

Watching all the things Mastroianni can do to help a team win makes one wonder: Why did Toronto let him go?

"I have no idea," said Mastroianni, who lasted one day in the big leagues last season. "They had a chance to get Francisco Cordero, who at the time was a very established closer, and that was their decision. I don't hold any hard feelings. It's a business, and that was what they felt the organization needed.

"Fortunately for me I got claimed by this organization, and I've been very fortunate to be here. I love this organization and this city, and I hope I'll be here for a long time."

  • TWINS 9, DETROIT 3 Up next: 7:10 tonight vs. Detroit • Target Field • TV: FSN (1500-AM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Fla Southern 2 FINAL
Detroit 12
Miami 7
Toronto 114 FINAL
Philadelphia 103
Golden State 108 FINAL
Brooklyn 110
Phoenix 98 FINAL
Miami 115
LA Clippers 110 FINAL
Minnesota 105
New Orleans 93 FINAL
Dallas 102
Nashville 1 FINAL
NY Rangers 4
Carolina 2 FINAL
Chicago 5
Montreal 0 FINAL
San Jose 4
Virginia 59 FINAL
Syracuse 47
Baylor 59 FINAL
Texas 61
SE Louisiana 79 FINAL
Northwestern St 92
Central Arkansas 49 FINAL
Sam Houston St 76
Norfolk State 59 FINAL
Howard 61
Bethune-Cookman 50 FINAL
NC A&T 67
Hampton 75 FINAL
Delaware State 85
Lamar 69 FINAL
McNeese State 70
Nicholls 89 FINAL
New Orleans 79
Incarnate Word 62 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 83
NC Central 62 FINAL
Savannah State 49
Texas Southern 77 FINAL
Alabama A&M 75
Prairie View 67 FINAL
Alabama State 65
Oklahoma 70 FINAL
Iowa State 77
Grambling St 62 FINAL
Miss Valley St 66
Boston College 66 FINAL
Virginia Tech 59
Jackson State 62 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 64
Bethune-Cookman 55 FINAL
NC A&T 58
Hampton 78 FINAL
Delaware State 63
Norfolk State 63 FINAL
Howard 60
NC Central 54 FINAL
Savannah State 65
Texas Southern 83 FINAL
Alabama A&M 46
Prairie View 42 FINAL
Alabama State 60
Jackson State 78 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 74
Grambling 56 FINAL
Miss Valley St 61
Tulsa 71 FINAL
Cincinnati 58
(1) Connecticut 88 FINAL
South Florida 65
East Carolina 67
Central Conn St 53 FINAL
Bryant 55
Wagner 66 FINAL
Robert Morris 60
Sacred Heart 75 FINAL
Fairleigh Dickinson 84
St Francis-NY 73 FINAL
Long Island 49
Mount St Marys 87 FINAL
St Francis-PA 90
Temple 56 FINAL
Houston 45
Texas Tech 65 FINAL
(6) Baylor 75
Iowa State 64 FINAL
Kansas 68
Memphis 53
Oklahoma 66 FINAL
Oklahoma St 56
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Which Twins player are you most interested in during spring training?

Weekly Question