MINNEAPOLIS -- Samuel Deduno didn't buckle under the pressure Thursday. He barely even batted an eye.
The Twins right-hander was walking a tightrope as he worked with a one-run lead in the seventh inning. The Kansas City Royals had runners on the corners with just one out against Deduno, who had cruised through the first six innings.
Needing a big out, Deduno got one by striking out Royals right fielder David Lough on three pitches -- all cutters -- for the second out of the inning.
"That was a big strikeout for us," Deduno said. "I wanted to strike him out. That was a big out."
That allowed Deduno to breathe a bit. Three pitches later he escaped the jam by getting Elliot Johnson to ground out to short. That would be the last pitch Deduno would throw Thursday and his performance was good enough to earn the win in Minnesota's 3-1 victory.
"Sammy was fantastic," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "(He was) working the strike zone, pounding it...