Mauer belts 27th HR as Twins rout A’s
The rookie left-hander has even surprised himself.
Duensing (3-1) scattered eight hits and three walks over seven innings to win his third straight decision. He struck out six.
“I’ve surprised myself at how well I’m doing,” Duensing said. “I always knew I could throw strikes and stuff like that, but the results I’m getting is something I’m not really used to. I’m not a strikeout guy. I usually let the defense play and let the hitters put the ball in play. But lately I’m throwing the ball really well and it’s a good surprise.”
Mauer drove in two runs and raised his batting average to a major league-best .366.
“We needed this pretty desperately and we got it today,” Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. “It started with our pitcher.”
Oakland started its own rookie left-hander, but
Meanwhile, Duensing has provided a boost for the
He was 4-6 with a 4.66 ERA while starting for Triple-A Rochester, but 14 of his 15 first appearances with Minnesota were out of the bullpen. He has a 5.34 ERA as a reliever.
When fellow lefty
He’s gone at least five innings in each of his six starts and hasn’t allowed more than three runs in any of them. Duensing also might be putting himself into consideration for a spot in the rotation next season.
“We’ve been talking about a lot of guys in there next year, and when we get to next year, we’ll get there,” Gardenhire said. “What’s impressive is he’s stepping in there in a big situation for us when we’ve got pitchers going down and proving that he can pitch at this major league level and use all his pitches like that. That’s impressive, and much-needed.”
Oakland tried to apply pressure, but Duensing effectively worked his way out of trouble.
“He had some pretty good stuff, pretty good curveball, some really nice movement on his two-seamer, and he located the ball pretty good,” said Oakland’s
Minnesota gave Duensing an early advantage.
Cuddyer singled in two runs in the first inning and Mauer scored on a groundout by
Gonzalez’s outing ended after
Gonzalez won three straight decisions from July 25 to Aug. 10, giving up four runs in 19 2-3 innings. Since then, he has a 7.55 ERA in six starts.
“Gio just didn’t have command of his pitches today,”