MINNEAPOLIS – Samuel Deduno has baffled the Minnesota Twins in his young career.
Flashes of brilliance are mixed in with frustrating outings.
The erratic right-hander gave up four runs in four innings as the Twins lost 5-3 to the Chicago White Sox.
He struck out six, but walked five. Of his 86 pitches, just 40 were strikes. He also threw two wild pitches and gave up a home run. He said the wildness was due to extra pressure that was self-imposed when things weren't working early.
"I have to be the same way when I'm doing bad," Deduno said. "I tried to do too much and tried to be perfect, and nothing was working today."
Deduno (6-4) was solid in his last three outings, allowing a combined four earned runs in 20 innings. He gave up just three hits and walked three in seven innings Monday against Cleveland, a game in which all his pitches were working for him.
He also worked slowly.
"He rushed a little bit today and was wild in the zone," said catcher Drew Butera. "When he settled himself down and was in the zone he was fine."
Manager Ron Gardenhire is expected to continue putting Deduno on the mound and hope for the best.
"The tough thing about it is it looked like we were getting past a little of that, he was throwing the ball pretty decently. His last few starts have been good, he's located his fastball. Today, was one of those where it was just going everywhere. He threw fastballs probably 50-55 footers, and that's not normal," Gardenhire said. "When you get mad at yourself and you don't relax, that's what happens, everything tenses up and you don't let the ball go right."
The inconsistency is reminiscent of former Twins left-hander Francisco Liriano, who took a no-hitter into the seventh inning against his former team.
"We've all seen him dominate teams, just dominate them, but we've also seen where has a hard time finding the strike zone. Anything Frankie does we've seen it one way or another," Gardenhire said.
Liriano (6-11) allowed only a two-out homer in the seventh to Trevor Plouffe. He walked two, hit a batter and struck out nine in seven innings.
The White Sox entered the day with a one game lead over Detroit in the Central,
Acquired from the Twins on July 28, the victory was Liriano's third for the White Sox and his first against Minnesota.
Liriano's bid for the second no-hitter of his career ended after hitting Justin Morneau with a pitch with two outs in the seventh. Plouffe then homered to left-center on Liriano's 96th pitch of the game.
Jesse Crain, another former Twins player, pitched a perfect eighth inning for the White Sox.
Closer Addison Reed faced three batters to start the bottom of the ninth, but didn't record an out. With the bases loaded, Matt Thornton got Morneau to ground into a run-scoring double play and Plouffe to ground out to pick up his third save in seven chances.
"Chicago's a good team and we almost had 'em," said outfielder Ben Revere.
Chicago's original plan did not have Liriano pitching on Saturday. Liriano, who has been bouncing back and forth between the rotation and the bullpen, started to give Jose Quintana and Gavin Floyd extra rest and allow Quintana to start Monday's makeup game against the Tigers.
Liriano allowed only two baserunners through the first six innings. He walked Josh Willingham with two outs in the first inning, but quickly got the next batter, Morneau, to ground out. Liriano walked Butera to lead off the bottom of the sixth and then got Pedro Florimon to ground into a double play.
The White Sox, who have won the first two games of the series, grabbed the early lead against Deduno.
Kevin Youkilis walked with one out in the first and then went to third on Dunn's single down the line. Youkilis put Chicago ahead 1-0 when he scored on a Konerko groundout.
Two innings later, Konerko hit his 23rd homer of the season, a two-run shot into the bullpens in left-center field, to give the White Sox a 3-0 lead.
Chicago manufactured a run in the fourth. Dayan Viciedo walked, went to second on a wild pitch and scored on Gordon Beckham's single up the middle.
Chicago added a run in the top of the ninth when Orlando Hudson scored from second on Alexei Ramirez's single.
NOTES: RHP Jake Peavy (10-11, 3.27 ERA) will try to even his record Sunday in his 29th start of the season for the White Sox. The Twins will counter with Scott Diamond (11-7, 3.46 ERA), who has lost two of his last three starts. ... Minnesota catcher Joe Mauer missed his fifth straight game due to back spasms. ... Minnesota's Ryan Doumit wasn't in the lineup, but was available to pinch hit if needed. ... The seven innings pitched was Liriano's longest since the trade to Chicago and matched his second longest of the season.