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Associated Press, Published May 13 2012

Diamond throws a gem, Twins beat Jays

MINNEAPOLIS – Scott Diamond has been with the Minnesota Twins for less than a week, and he already has accounted for one-fifth of the team’s wins.

Diamond pitched seven shutout innings, Brian Dozier hit his first career homer and the Minnesota Twins held on to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-3 Sunday.

Ryan Doumit and Jamey Carroll added two hits apiece for the Twins, who became the last team in the majors to reach double-digit wins by splitting the four-game series. Matt Capps pitched a scoreless ninth for his seventh save in as many chances.

Yunel Escobar and Eric Thames knocked in runs for Toronto, which closed its road trip at 5-5.

Diamond (2-0) has given the Twins the type of starting pitching that has been sorely lacking for most of the season. Minnesota starters entered the game with a collective 6.57 ERA, the worst in baseball.

Called up from Triple-A Rochester on Monday, he threw seven shutout innings Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Angels. Just as he did then, Diamond worked ahead in the count, moved the ball in and out and primarily kept the ball down in the zone. He allowed five hits and struck out four without a walk.

“I was getting hit hard, but our defense came up big for me,” he said. “I’m not a strikeout guy, so I just want them to keep hitting the ball in play and we were able to get some outs.” Diamond was hit with a line drive on his pitching shoulder in the second inning, but he kept stretching in the dugout between innings.

Last year, Diamond was 1-5 in seven starts for the Twins. This year he’s more relaxed, taking things simpler and is focusing on the batter rather than letting things get out of control. “Taking a couple of deep breaths on the mound has got me back to settling down. This year it’s more about getting back, getting wins, and helping this team out in whatever way I could.”

P.J. Walters allowed two runs in six hits taking Saturday’s 2-1 loss, but maybe the young guns are what the Twins need now.

“They competed in Spring Training, and they went down and worked on some things and we had starters here,” catcher Drew Butera said. “They have major league stuff.”

Dozier, the Twins’ 2011 minor leaguer of the year who was also called up Monday, homered in the third for a 1-0 lead before the patient Twins scored three times in the fifth.

Denard Span and Dozier singled before Joe Mauer walked to load the bases. Josh Willingham walked and Doumit followed with a two-run single up the middle. It was Minnesota’s only hit with runners in scoring position over its past 19 opportunities.

Toronto Minnesota

ab r h bi ab r h bi

KJhnsn 2b 5 1 1 0 Span cf 4 1 1 0

YEscor ss 4 1 1 1 Dozier ss 5 2 2 1

Bautist rf 4 0 1 0 Mauer 1b 2 1 1 0

Encrnc 1b 4 0 3 0 Wlngh lf 3 0 0 1

BFrncs dh 3 0 0 0 Doumit dh 4 0 2 2

Thams ph-dh 1 0 0 1 Plouffe 3b 3 0 1 0

Lawrie 3b 4 0 1 0 Komats rf 3 0 1 0

Rasms cf 4 0 0 0 Butera c 3 0 0 0

Arencii c 4 0 1 0 JCarrll 2b 4 0 2 0

Mathis pr 0 0 0 0

RDavis lf 3 1 2 0

Lind ph 1 0 0 0

Totals 37 3 10 2 Totals 31 4 10 4

Toronto 000 000 030— 3

Minnesota 001 030 00x— 4

E—R.Davis (1), Plouffe (3). DP—Toronto 3, Minnesota 1. LOB—Toronto 7, Minnesota 11. 2B—Encarnacion (9), Mauer (7), Plouffe (2). HR—Dozier (1). SB—Encarnacion (6), Lawrie (4), R.Davis 2 (5), J.Carroll (4).

IP H R ER BB SO

Toronto

R.Romero L,4-1 5Zc 9 4 4 5 0

Carreno 1Xc 1 0 0 3 0

Oliver 1 0 0 0 0 0

Minnesota

Diamond W,2-0 7 5 0 0 0 4

Burton Zc 4 3 3 0 0

Perkins H,4 Xc 0 0 0 0 0

Capps S,7-7 1 1 0 0 0 1

WP—Perkins. PB—Arencibia.

T—2:59. A—36,889 (39,500