After 30 appearances out of the bullpen this season, Brian Duensing is set to make his first start against the Reds tonight.
Duensing has been largely effective as a middle reliever for the Twins this season, pitching to a 3.12 ERA. He has also pitched scoreless outings in seven of his last eight appearances.
The southpaw has plenty of experience as a starter. After an impressive 2010 campaign where he went 10-3 with a 2.62 ERA, he struggled mightily in 2011, going 9-14 with a 5.23 ERA.
Duensing takes the place of P.J. Walters, who was placed on the disabled list this week with a shoulder injury.
The Reds will counter with Johnny Cueto, who's in the midst of another great season with an 8-3 record and a 2.38 ERA.
The right-hander has been especially dominant of late, winning his last three starts -- including a complete game on June 12 and a seven inning, one earned run, eight strikeout performance on June 17.
He will try to win his fourth consecutive start for the first time since he won four in a row in May of 2010.
Cueto has been especially great in afternoon games this year, going 5-0 in seven starts with a microscopic 1.36 ERA.
On Friday night, the Twins held on to defeat the Reds 5-4 in the first game of the series.
Nick Blackburn (4-4) labored through five innings, allowing five hits, two walks, and four earned runs, but still earned the win. The Twins' bullpen pitched four scoreless innings, capped off by Glen Perkins' second save of the year.
The Reds had runners on first and third with one out in the ninth, but ended the game with back-to-back strikeouts from Zack Cozart and Chris Heisey.
"I made the pitches when I had to," Perkins said of his shaky ninth inning. "Sometimes you win ugly."
Both Ben Revere and Ryan Doumit went 4-for-4 in the win. Doumit hit his seventh home run of the season, while Revere stole two bases and had an RBI as well.
Homer Bailey (5-5) took the loss for the Reds, their fourth straight. He allowed eight hits, three walks, and four earned runs over 5 1/3 innings.
Heisey and Scott Rolen both homered for Cincinnati.