Found September 12, 2013 on
Fox Sports North:
MINNEAPOLIS -- Scott Diamond thought he had things figured out after a demotion to Triple A in early August helped him get his confidence back.
In his first major league start since then, it was back to square one for the Twins left-hander.
Diamond was tagged with the loss Thursday as Oakland scored five runs (four earned) on six hits as Minnesota fell 8-2 to the visiting Athletics. He lasted just 4 23 innings, his shortest start since July 21, as he dropped to 5-11 with a 5.61 ERA this year.
"I still saw some good signs," Diamond said. "I think the biggest flaw today was I wasn't able to locate inside at all. I was able to move some feet, but I don't think it was as effective as it could have been. I think that's what I'm going to take and work on in the pen and keep my chin up because I still feel like I'm not that far off."
After his demotion to Rochester, Diamond went 4-0 with a 2.40 ERA in six Triple-A starts. He was hoping to carry that success back to the majors and possibly return to the pitcher he was in 2012 when he led the Twins' starting staff with a 12-9 record and a 3.54 ERA.
But against Oakland's free-swinging lineup, Diamond was trying to be too fine with his pitches. He nibbled on the edges of the plate and wasn't able to put hitters away despite working ahead in the count.
Diamond walked just two batters Thursday but also had just one strikeout. While Diamond has never been much of a strikeout pitcher, he hasn't often struggled to put batters like he did against Oakland.
"I think I did a good job away from righties, but working in on them I think I nibbled a little too much," Diamond said. "I was trying to be a little too effective. They're a big pull team. They're really aggressive, so I think with that being in the back of my mind I was being a little too fine in there rather than really attacking them on the inner half."
Diamond cruised through two scoreless innings to start the game but ran into trouble in the third. Four A's batters came around to score in the four-run frame, including two runs on a standup triple by Yoenis Cespedes. With Diamond ahead in the count 0-2, Cespedes smashed an 81 mph curveball off the wall in center field, scoring Josh Donaldson and Jed Lowrie.
Twins center fielder Alex Presley took an awkward route on Cespedes' triple, but Diamond took the blame for his approach to Cespedes in that situation.
"I felt like I did a good job of getting ahead of hitters, throwing strikes, but I wasn't able to put anybody away," Diamond said. "I think that was the story behind my game today."
Diamond was given the hook in the fifth inning after yet another hit by Cespedes. Earlier in the inning, Josh Donaldson drove in Coco Crisp on a base hit to left for the fifth run allowed by Diamond. This one was unearned, however, as Crisp reached on an error. Still, Diamond couldn't put away Donaldson on a full count with two outs in the inning.
"I think we saw the ball starting getting elevated, and when it started getting elevated the ball started flying all over the place," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "So it just looked like he started elevating the baseball the second time around, and when he did that the ball started flying."
With several question marks lingering regarding Minnesota's starting rotation next year, Diamond likely has some work to do to prove he deserves a spot in 2014. After Thursday's disappointing performance, though, Diamond insisted he's not thinking that far ahead.
"I can't focus on that right now," Diamond said. "I've got to focus and look at it as still making that transition back up and doing what has made me successful here and what's made me successful in Triple A. Going 4 23 (innings) is not it. I've got to go deeper into ball games, try and keep my pitch count down and really focus on just getting quick outs."
Follow Tyler Mason on Twitter
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
The hard work is paying off for Twins Top Prospect, Miguel Sano
There aren’t many sure things in baseball, but Minnesota Twins’ top prospect Miguel Sano is just about as sure as they come. Ever since signing out of the Dominican Republic to a $3.15 million bonus, Sano has been on a tear in the minors and is more than justifying every penny the Twins decided to spend on...
Scott Diamond finished last season as the only pitcher assured of a spot in Minnesota's rotation.
One year later, the left-hander isn't sure of much, starting with getting the ball to go where he wants it to.
A.J. Griffin allowed just two hits in seven innings, and the Oakland Athletics beat Diamond and the Twins 8-2 on Thursday afternoon to increase their division lead...
MINNEAPOLIS -- The strikeout totals for Minnesota's batters have been alarming. The Twins already set a club record for the most strikeouts in a season, and that number continues to grow.
In Friday's 3-0 loss to Tampa Bay, it was the strikeouts Minnesota's hitters simply sat and watched that bothered manager Ron Gardenhire.
The Twins struck out 11 times against the...
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins catcher Joe Mauer was sent home Wednesday after experiencing a setback from his recovery from a concussion.
"He didn't have a good day today," said Twins general manager Terry Ryan. "It's a concern more than frustration because you've got to feel for the guy. He just didn't feel well today, so we sent him home. This wasn't...
MINNEAPOLIS -- The last time Mike Pelfrey won a game at Target Field, there was still snow on the ground throughout Minnesota.
Hit with yet another loss Wednesday in Oakland's 18-3 rout, the Twins right-hander fell to 5-12 on the year. On top of that, it extended his winless streak at Target Field to 12 games. The last time Pelfrey was a winner in his home park was April 16...
Video: It has to be the shorts!!
Adding Kevin Correia was not the kind of offseason move that caused a buzz around baseball or made Minnesota Twins fans buy a bunch of tickets.
The veteran has given the Twins good value, though. Imagine their rotation without the right-hander.
Chris Archer pitched six innings, and the Tampa Bay Rays added to their slim wild-card lead by beating Correia and the Twins 3-0 on Friday...
Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire has been ejected in the fourth inning of the Twins' game against Oakland Athletics.
Gardenhire was thrown out after umpires huddled and awarded Jed Lowrie a two-run double after originally calling his line drive down the first-base line foul. Umpire Bill Miller had to dance out of the way of Lowrie's hit as it landed in front of him and ruled...
Minnesota Twins Class A outfielder Byron Buxton was named the 2013 Minor League Player of the Year by Baseball America, marking the the second time in the 33-year history of the award that a Twins prospect has been honored. Franchise catcher Joe Mauer was selected in 2003, his third professional season.
Buxton spent his first full season in the minor leagues and hit a hit a combined...
Clinging to the AL's second wild-card spot, the Tampa Bay Rays would appear to have a good chance to help their cause this weekend.
The visiting Rays go for a 10th consecutive victory over the lowly Minnesota Twins in the opener of a three-game set Friday night.
Tampa Bay (79-66) had dropped five of six and 13 of 17 before beating Boston 4-3 on Thursday. Desmond Jennings homered...
In a season where much has gone wrong, the Minnesota Twins had an inning, and a night, where seemingly everything went wrong.
Jed Lowrie's foul ball that turned into a two-run double after umpires changed the call highlighted a 10-run fourth inning as the Oakland Athletics pounded the Twins 18-3 on Wednesday night.
Every Oakland starter had at least one hit, one run and one...
It was one of those nights where baseball became pinball and the A's were in danger of breaking the scoreboard counter.
In the end Oakland was an 18-3 victor over the Minnesota Twins on a night where every ball that could fell in and A's starter Sonny Gray spent enough time on the bench between innings to get his taxes done.
Actually keeping his taxes straight might have...
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Chris Archer pitched six scoreless innings and the Tampa Bay Rays added to their slim wild-card lead by beating the Minnesota Twins 3-0 on Friday night.
The Rays hold the second wild-card spot with four teams still in striking range. They nudged their edge to 1 games over Cleveland, due to a loss by New York that pushed the Yankees to two games back. Baltimore...
It’s Friday the 13th! Spoooooky.
This trbute to Andrew Luck is pretty corny.
No, it’s cool. Concussions are cool.
SEC Football is so messed up.
Oakland 8, Minnesota 2 – The Twins appear ready for the offseason.
Cleveland 14, Chicago 3 – Chicago too.
Cleveland 3, Chicago 1 (Today) – At least they didn’t give up a touchdown, right?