It seems strange when Twins closer Jhoan Duran, the righthander with a 104 mph fastball, gives up multiple hits during his relief appearances. It's even weirder when the hits come with two strikes.

Duran surrendered a solo homer to Spencer Torkelson on a curveball he threw in a 0-2 count during Tuesday night's 5-3 victory and a single to Kerry Carpenter on the same pitch in the same count.

"That happens sometimes," said Duran, who has converted 22 saves with a 2.89 ERA. "I know I'm not doing really, really well like the way I did in the past. I'm working on that. I need a little bit more command. When I've got two strikes, I need to throw the ball to the floor. I tried, but I missed."

Duran hasn't been as unhittable since the start of July. In the first three months of the season, he held opposing hitters to a .147 batting average with 15 hits in 31 innings. In the last two months, he has yielded 21 hits in 15⅔ innings (.323 opposing batting average).

There was one recent stretch, he said, in which the ball felt slick and he adjusted the way he gripped pitches.

"The expectation that he's not going to give up any runs and not give up any hits is unrealistic," Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. "I think sometimes those things come in waves. He might go a month and not give up a run. Then he might give up a run three or four outings in a row, and he's not pitching that much differently.

"He has things he's going to keep working on and we'll stay on him with, but I'm not sitting here worried or panicking in any way."

The primary area in which Duran believes he needs to improve is the location of his curveballs. That's the pitch that generates the most swings and misses — and picks up the most strikeouts.

"It's good," Duran said of his curveball, "but it's in the middle. I need to throw it more down."

Keuchel's next start pushed back

With two off days this week, the Twins pushed back Dallas Keuchel's next start. Pablo López is scheduled to start Friday night's series opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates, with Sonny Gray pitching Saturday and Keuchel on Sunday.

That will give Keuchel eight days between starts while giving López and Gray just one extra day of rest between outings. Keuchel gave up six hits and six runs in 1⅔ innings during his last outing.

The Twins will have another day off Monday after their series against Pittsburgh. Injured starter Joe Ryan threw a bullpen session Tuesday and did a running workout Wednesday at Target Field. Ryan is expected to begin a rehabilitation assignment this week.

Paddack to face hitters in Florida

Righthander Chris Paddack, who has been out all season recovering from Tommy John surgery, is scheduled to face hitters in a live batting practice session this week in Fort Myers, Fla.

He hasn't been cleared to pitch in minor league games by Dr. Keith Meister, who performed Paddack's surgery, which minimizes his chances of returning to the majors as a reliever this season.

"As much as Chris wants to compete this year — we're being respectful and understanding of that — but we need to get the blessing from the surgeon as well," Twins head trainer Nick Paparesta said. "Things are heading in the right direction as of now."

Paddack remains under contract through the 2025 season.


• Carlos Correa was out of the lineup Wednesday, ahead of Thursday's day off, to give him extended time to rest his left foot. "He's been playing with less than his max foot speed," Baldelli said.

Reliever Brock Stewart has yet to return to the mound since he had a setback at the beginning of the month with forearm soreness. Paparesta said Stewart is playing catch up to 90 feet and could throw off a mound next week.

Left fielder Gilberto Celestino's ninth-inning error enabled the decisive run to score as the Saints lost 4-3 to Indianapolis at CHS Field. The Saints committed four errors, including two by Celestino, leading to three unearned runs. Louie Varland gave up three runs (one earned) on six hits and three walks in 6⅔ innings, striking out five.