Phil Miller covered three seasons of Twins baseball, but that was at a different ballpark for a different newspaper. Now Miller returns to the baseball beat after joining the Star Tribune as the Gopher football writer in 2010, and he won't miss the dingy dome for a minute. In addition to the Twins and Gophers, Miller covered the Utah Jazz and the NBA for six years at The Salt Lake Tribune.

Postgame: "Big Train" Duensing in heady company

Posted by: Phil Miller under MLB Updated: August 10, 2013 - 2:52 AM

 If not for the home runs, the Twins and White Sox would have been some frustrated baseball teams on Friday. Neither one could get a clutch hit, each made a baserunning mistake, both issued too many walks, and both were victimized by some exceptional defense. Solo home runs, though, covered up the lack of offense for each.

In particular, Clete Thomas hustled to the center field fence to track down a Dayan Viciedo fly ball that would have scored two runs in the sixth inning of Game 2. And Gordon Beckham stretched out in a desperation dive to reach Joe Mauer's hard grounder to right, ending the eighth inning with the go-ahead run rounding third base.

The Twins don't mind, of course, since they rallied to win both games. But it was an odd night for the offense, which had outhomered only the Yankees and Royals at the start of the day. (They've outhomered another team now, too -- Chicago.)

Anyway, a couple of extra notes from a long day at the ballpark:

-- I know it's a fluke stat, but still, it's not very often you get to invoke the name Walter Johnson, believed by many historians to be the greatest pitcher in baseball history. So I enjoyed very much that Brian Duensing became, according to Elias Sports Bureau, the first pitcher in franchise history since The Big Train to win two games in one day. Duensing did it by facing only four batters, and just happened to be the pitcher of record when Justin Morneau hit his grand slam to give Minnesota the lead, and Oswaldo Arcia broke the 10th-inning tie in the second game.

Johnson, pitching for the Twins' ancestor Washington Senators, beat the St. Louis Browns twice in DC's Griffith Stadium (named for Senators owner Clark Griffith, whose nephew Calvin Griffith moved the team to Minneapolis in 1961) on Sept. 17, 1923. Johnson pitched the final three innings of the first game in relief of starter Cy Warmoth and reliever Firpo Marberry, getting the win when the Senators scored in the 10th. Then the future Hall of Famer pitched a complete game in the second game, allowing only one earned run in a 12-2 victory that ended, for unknown reason, after seven innings.

The two victories that day improved Johnson to just 15-10, a rather pedestrian season (he finished 17-10) in a career that included a dozen 20-win seasons, a 36-7 record exactly a century ago in 1913, and 417 career victories. Duensing's two wins Friday improved him to 6-1 on the season -- third on the team in wins, behind Samuel Deduno and Kevin Correia's seven apiece -- and a 34-32 career record.

-- Kyle Gibson now has pitched 134 2/3 innings in Triple-A and the majors this season, and his guess -- though he emphasized that nobody in the organization has told him this -- is that the Twins don't want him to exceed 150-160.

Though Terry Ryan has not put an exact number on Gibson's limit, the team doesn't want to increase his workload too quickly after he pitched just 50 innings last year, counting fall league. Meaning, the rookie righthander likely only will make three to five more starts this year, tops.

"Not being able to play would be difficult," said Gibson, who had elbow reconstruction surgery in Nov. 2011. "It would kind of take me back to 2010, when they shut me down after 150 [innings]. That wasn't any fun. But I've just got to make sure I focus on the next three, four, five starts, whatever it is, and try to keep getting better."

-- On a day when the White Sox traded one of their best hitters just before first pitch, Justin Morneau did plenty to increase his own trade value, too.

Morneau crushed a 1-2 fastball over the Twins' bullpen with the bases loaded in the seventh inning, his first grand slam since 2009, then added a solo blast in the ninth inning. Morneau's 20th career multi-home run game gave him five homers and 11 RBIs in August, already far more production than the four homers and five RBIs he had in July, when the Twins received no offers worth pursuing for the former MVP. Morneau's contract expires at the end of the season, making him a potential trade target for contending teams.

White Sox outfielder Alex Rios had been another logical target, and the White Sox reached an agreement with Texas just minutes before Friday's first game, dealing Rios to the Rangers for a player to be named later.

Is Morneau worried that potential trade partners, should he clear waivers and be eligible to be dealt, might be interested now that he's swinging better?

"That's out of my control," the Canadian slugger said. "I don't think a hot streak or a cold streak will affect that too much. If a team feels like I can contribute, if they feel it's worth giving up something, that'll happen. If not, I'm happy here."



Philadelphia 3:30 PM
San Diego 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Utah 101 FINAL
Orlando 94
Charlotte 109 FINAL
Philadelphia 91
Brooklyn 91 FINAL
Cleveland 95
Washington 105 FINAL
Miami 103
Minnesota 98 FINAL
Boston 114
Toronto 110 FINAL
Detroit 100
Chicago 103 FINAL
Memphis 97
Portland 129 FINAL
San Antonio 119
LA Clippers 106 FINAL
Denver 109
Oklahoma City 104 FINAL
LA Lakers 103
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL(SO)
New Jersey 3
Anaheim 2 FINAL
Ottawa 6
NY Islanders 2 FINAL
Detroit 1
Boston 1 FINAL
Winnipeg 2
Dallas 2 FINAL
Calgary 1
Wilberforce 71 FINAL
Youngstown St 92
Jackson State 49 FINAL
Tulane 56
Siena 66 FINAL
Radford 76
Stillman 49 FINAL
Alabama 69
Case Western Reserve 65 FINAL
Bucknell 88
Niagara 62 FINAL
Buffalo 88
SD Christian 46 FINAL
UC Santa Barbara 69
Concordia (MI) 60 FINAL
Central Mich 97
Northern Ill 55 FINAL
Dartmouth 58
North Florida 83 FINAL
Florida A&M 65
Hiwassee 71 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 91
Tennessee St 54 FINAL
Hampton 66
Kent State 71
Central Penn College 65 FINAL
Liberty 94
Eastern Ky 72 FINAL
Miami-Florida 44
Northern Ky 83 FINAL
Morehead State 60
Northern Ariz 62 FINAL
Norfolk State 81
MD-Eastern Shore 43 FINAL
Old Dominion 60
St Marys-CA 47 FINAL
St Johns 53
Clemson 45 FINAL
South Carolina 68
Tenn Tech 58 FINAL
Tennessee 61
Washington-MD 46 FINAL
William & Mary 86
Bethune-Cookman 46 FINAL
Mercer 67
Furman 78 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 83
South Dakota St 53 FINAL
CS-Bakersfield 49
Milligan 53 FINAL
Lamar 80
LSU-Alexandria 71 FINAL
ULM 76
Southern Utah 57 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 73
Chattanooga 58 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 68
Seattle 57 FINAL
Minnesota 92
Lipscomb 55 FINAL
Princeton 77
Winthrop 71 FINAL
SE Louisiana 81
Dickinson State 48 FINAL
North Dakota 78
New Orleans 56 FINAL
Southern Ill 52
TX-Pan American 60 FINAL
Creighton 75
Colorado State 85 FINAL
Denver 84
Alabama A&M 49 FINAL
Marquette 83
Ark-Pine Bluff 51 FINAL
Texas Tech 72
Eastern Wash 67 FINAL
California 78
Idaho State 56 FINAL
Utah State 69
Arizona 60 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 55
Hawaii 94 FINAL
Chaminade 63
Nevada 10:00 AM
Utah State 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
Ohio Valley 33 FINAL
Youngstown St 84
East Tenn St 48 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 61
Cal-Irvine 44 FINAL
Purdue 69
Campbell 63 FINAL
Stetson 76
Jacksonville St 70 FINAL
Charleston Southern 43
Louisiana 64 FINAL
Alcorn State 57
Denver 63 FINAL
Wright State 72
Blue Mountain 30 FINAL
Central Arkansas 71
Texas State 51 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 40
Albany 62 FINAL
Pepperdine 36
TX-San Antonio 53 FINAL
Houston 56
Yale 66 FINAL
Bucknell 73
Northern Colorado 56 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 69
Belmont 86 FINAL
Mercer 83
Massachusetts 66 FINAL
Georgia State 71
George Mason 69 FINAL
Winthrop 57
Portland State 33 FINAL
Princeton 104
Samford 52
Mobile 30 FINAL
Alabama State 66
Nicholls 49 FINAL
Texas Tech 76
Toledo 65 FINAL
Nevada 56
UMass Lowell 48 FINAL
(13) Duke 95
St Marys-CA 49 FINAL
Virginia 62
McNeese State 55 FINAL
Rice 57
McMurry 49 FINAL
Houston Baptist 69
Seton Hall 74
(6) North Carolina 65 FINAL
Maine 36
Lafayette 58 FINAL
Stony Brook 60
Siena 62 FINAL
Binghamton 53
Longwood 56 FINAL
Clemson 72
Savannah State 51 FINAL
Florida State 97
(19) Syracuse 72 FINAL
(9) Baylor 74
Buffalo 68 FINAL
Manhattan 58
Canisius 43 FINAL
Michigan 79
Davidson 66 FINAL
NC State 82
Northern Ky 63 FINAL
Delaware 58
Saint Louis 81 FINAL
Austin Peay 86
(25) DePaul 64 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 98
Ohio U 74 FINAL
La Salle 63
Florida Atlantic 60 FINAL
Long Beach St 85
Miami-Florida 65 FINAL
Tulane 70
Miss Valley St 39 FINAL
Memphis 62
Ark-Pine Bluff 56 FINAL
UAB 65
Bowling Green 58 FINAL
Illinois State 54
Arkansas State 78 FINAL
Missouri State 62
Wichita State 57
(16) Oregon State 71 FINAL
Southern Ill 55
Pacific 67 FINAL
New Mexico St 62
No Dakota State 79 FINAL
Cal State Fullerton 86
Utah State 92 FINAL
Sacramento St 102
Bethesda (CA) 61 FINAL
Fresno State 83
Utah Valley U 44 FINAL
Montana 68
UC Santa Barbara 45
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