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Minnesota Twins’ Scott Diamond is looking like an ace

Brian Murphy, Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn. –

The Twins seem to have found a staff ace where they least expected, a Rule 5 draftee from Canada who started the season in Class AAA but has done more than any starter to keep Minnesota’s season from demolition.

Left-hander Scott Diamond threw six shutout innings in an 11-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Saturday, June 9, at Target Field to improve to 5-1 with a sterling 1.61 earned-run average. It was his seventh start of at least five innings since he was recalled from Rochester in early May, when the Twins’ rotation was in shambles.

Diamond is 9-2 with a 2.04 ERA in 13 starts between Rochester and Minnesota.

What is more, he has become the team’s de facto ace with Carl Pavano and Scott Baker on the disabled list, Nick Blackburn battling back from injury and miserable outings and Francisco Liriano trying to salvage his career as a starter.

Diamond struck out five and allowed only one double among seven hits while aggressively going after the Cubs’ meek lineup.

“Me and Joe attacked all day,” Diamond said, referring to the game plan with catcher Joe Mauer. “When I left balls over the plate, I was able to get ground ball outs.”

Diamond refused to take the bait about being the new staff leader.

“I look it as we’re all teammates and we’re all trying to build off each other. I’m just trying to do the best I can,” he said.

Good thing, according to manager Ron Gardenhire.

“We don’t want to throw all those things on his shoulder,” he said. “He’s

going to take the ball every fifth day, and it looks like right now he’s going to give us a chance to win. He’s not the guy that’s going to strike out 18 in a game, I don’t think. He’s a contact guy, but he’s going to go out there and be a big part of the staff.”

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