CLEVELAND (AP) — Samuel Deduno got into a nice groove in his first start of the season. Unfortunately, the damage already had been done.
The right-hander allowed four runs and five hits over the first two innings Tuesday, giving Cleveland all the offense it needed in a 4-2 win over the Minnesota Twins.
Deduno (0-2) gave up two runs in the first and two more in the second, but held the Indians off the board for the remainder of his five-inning outing. He allowed six hits, two walks, and three earned runs in his return to the rotation.
“Sammy was misfiring a little bit early because he was overthrowing,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “But once he calmed down, he was pretty good and kept his pitch count right where we wanted it (77). He was excited to start again, and I thought he settled in nicely.”
The best news of the day for Minnesota occurred after the game, when first baseman Joe Mauer said he plans on resuming light baseball activities Wednesday. The six-time All-Star missed the first two games of the series with lower back spasms and will not play in the third.
“The last couple of days have been pretty brutal, but I could put my shoes on this morning, so that’s a bonus,” said Mauer, who was injured Sunday in a 5-2 win over Baltimore. “I’ll see how I feel when I wake up, but it’s definitely getting better. I’d like to get a bat and ball in my hand before I go out there and play a game, so hopefully I can do a little of that tomorrow and go from there.”
Chris Colabello — filling in for Mauer at first base — hit a solo home run in the seventh to cut Cleveland’s lead to 4-1. It was the only run Minnesota scored off Indians right-hander Josh Tomlin (1-0), who went 6 2-3 innings in his first big league start since July 27, 2012.
The Twins pulled even closer with two outs in the ninth when Kurt Suzuki reached on an error, then scored on a double by Eduardo Escobar. Pinch hitter Josmil Pinto represented the potential tying run, but popped out meekly against Indians reliever Bryan Shaw.
“It was a bad start for us all around, but again, we were right there at the end of the game,” said Gardenhire, whose team had won three straight entering Tuesday. “We had our chances, and that’s all you can ask for.”
Left-hander Logan Darnell made his major league debut in relief of Deduno, tossing three perfect innings with one strikeout. The left-hander was recalled from Triple-A Rochester on Friday.
“Either the radar gun is juiced here or I had a little adrenaline because I’ve never hit 95 (mph) before in my life,” Darnell said.
The Indians were held hitless over the final five innings.
Colabello committed an error in the first, allowing a grounder by David Murphy to bounce directly through his legs for Cleveland’s second run. In the second, Deduno was called for a balk after accidentally knocking the ball out of his hand by brushing his pants.
Tomlin had Tommy John surgery on Aug. 22, 2012 and missed most of last season. Called up from Triple-A Columbus before the game, he admitted to feeling some nerves as he took the mound.
“I definitely had some anxiety going before the game, but a good anxiety,” Tomlin said. “It was the same anxiety I’ve gotten in years past.”
NOTES: Mauer is a career .342 hitter with nine homers and 60 RBIs against the Indians. … Twins SS Danny Santana made his first big league start. … OF Josh Willingham (left wrist contusion), OF Aaron Hicks (concussion), and RHP Mike Pelfrey (groin strain) worked out, as scheduled, in Minneapolis earlier in the day. All three are on the 15-day disabled list. … Twins right-hander Ricky Nolasco (2-2) faces Indians righty Danny Salazar (1-3) in the third game of the four-game series Wednesday at 7:05 p.m.
(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)