On Saturday, Duensing pitched in relief of starter Sam Deduno, who only went four innings in a 5-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox.
He went 3.1 innings, allowing only one hit and a walk while striking out Alejandro De Aza and Kevin Youkilis.
“I felt real good,” he said. “I felt I was in my own rhythm immediately when I got on the mound.”
He pitched three straight 1-2-3 innings before a difficult eighth inning.
“He really shut it down today,” said manager Ron Gardenhire. “Came in, threw over the plate, used all of his pitches, looked really efficient and relaxed out there.”
“I was very efficient,” echoed Duensing, whose fastball stayed in the low 90s. “Quick innings and all the results were for the most part on the ground and that’s all I can really ask for.”
In the eighth he fanned Youkilis, but gave up a double to Adam Dunn and walked Paul Konerko.
“I felt like Dunn hit a really good pitch,” he said. “With Konerko, I didn’t want him to beat me.”
At that point the Twins were down 4-2 with the heart of the lineup coming up in the latter innings.
“We kinda got back into the game there, I wanted to keep it close,” he continued. “I told myself I’ll keep it close, and if I miss I and if I walk him that’s fine, we’ll have a chance for a double-play ball.
“The walk was kind of an unintentional, intentional walk.”
The double play never came, but relievers Casey Fien and Tyler Robertson got the team out of the inning without giving up a run.
“I’ll take this outing every time,” said Duensing.
He has found his role on this team.
All quotes were obtained first-hand.
Tom Schreier writes a weekly column for TheFanManifesto.com.