SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Samuel Deduno proved again he deserves a permanent spot in Minnesota's rotation — even on a night he ended up with a loss.
Deduno made one big mistake that led to a home run by Pablo Sandoval and was hurt by a miscue in the field as the Twins lost to the San Francisco Giants 2-1 on Saturday night.
Deduno (1-3) allowed two runs in 5 2-3 innings in his fourth start in place of an injured Mike Pelfrey and is making a case to stick in the rotation even after Pelfrey makes his return.
"You earn your spots up here and he's definitely doing that," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I don't think anybody, if he keeps pitching like that, is going to take his spot in the rotation."
Deduno ended up with the loss because of a big night from Sandoval, who drove in both runs for the Giants, and another strong start from Ryan Vogelsong.
Vogelsong (3-2) allowed three hits and struck out seven in 6 2-3 innings to extend his scoreless streak to 13 2-3 innings and lower his ERA to 1.35 in his past six starts.
"He was throwing good cutters to both sides of the plate," Twins outfielder Jason Kubel said. "If you're thinking cutter, he'll throw the straight one in at you, too, and it gets guys to chase. He's got a good curveball. When he's got his pitches, he's tough to hit."
Josmil Pinto broke up the shutout bid with a leadoff homer in the ninth inning against Sergio Romo, but that was all the Twins could manage. Romo retired the next three batters to get his 16th save in 18 chances.
Sandoval got off to a slow start in a contract year and was batting under .200 as late as May 13. But he has found his stroke of late to lead the way for San Francisco.
"He has his timing and he has his confidence going," manager Bruce Bochy said. "That usually comes with success. That was the longest tough streak he has ever gone through. It looks like he has come out of it and is making great contact right now."