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STL@LAA: Blanton tallies seven strikeouts over 5 2/3

Samuel Deduno and Joe Blanton are coming off vastly different experiences on the pitching mound.

With all of his pitches working, Deduno helped Minnesota snap a six-game losing streak by holding the Yankees to one run over seven innings. Blanton, on the other hand, had faith in just his fastball, as he surrendered four runs during four frustrating innings in Seattle.

The two right-handers will square off on Monday, when the Twins and Angels begin a three-game series in Anaheim.

Over 10 outings this season, Deduno has a 5-4 record and 3.61 ERA. On July 13, he gave up a run and six hits in Yankee Stadium, issuing three walks and three strikeouts.

"With his stuff, he's the guy you want out there," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "His ball moves all over the place. He gets good breaking balls and he was in control pretty much the whole game."

The same could not be reasonably said of Blanton, who is 2-12 with a 5.53 ERA across 19 starts this year. Blanton leads the American League in losses, home runs (23) and hits (148), while ranking second in earned runs (69). He also has the second-highest ERA among starting pitchers in the league.

Blanton's last outing, on July 14, was his shortest of the season. He vented his anger in the dugout by hitting a water cooler and arguing with catcher Chris Iannetta.

"Anytime things aren't going good, it kind of bring things to a little volcano, a head, whatever you want to call it," Blanton said. "Things aren't going well. It's a long season. You try to do more. You're out there competing with everything you have. Things happen."

Twins: Herrmann's presence alters Doumit's role
Chris Herrmann started at catcher on Sunday for the first time since being recalled from Triple-A Rochester on Tuesday. Herrmann will be Joe Mauer's primary backup behind the dish, with Ryan Doumit becoming Minnesota's everyday right fielder.

"Herrmann does a good job behind there, and I like Doumit in right field," Gardenhire said. "[Doumit] is able to go out there, because we don't have him in the catching role, so he's doing all of his work out there. It's just easier for him to relax out there, because it's easier than catching, which beats you up a little bit."

Doumit has much more outfield experience than Herrmann, which will come in handy with Oswaldo Arcia and Chris Parmelee both relegated to the Red Wings. Still, though, Gardenhire will continue to give Doumit playing time at catcher.

"He's going to catch," Gardenhire. "I don't want him to get away from that, but I want as many left-handed bats as I can in there. And he's more comfortable in right field than Herrmann. My other option is to put Herrmann in right field, but he hasn't played there, so I want to give him more time to work out there."

Angels: Callaspo producing on offense
Los Angeles doesn't rely on Alberto Callaspo to lead the lineup in any statistical categories, but the third baseman has been doing his part to contribute to the offense in recent weeks. Though he went 0-for-3 on Sunday, Callaspo still has a .317/.372/.385 slash line over his past 29 games, dating back to June 15.

"He's quietly doing what we expected," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's started swinging better from the right side. Left-handed he's been hitting the ball to all fields."

In that span, the switch-hitter has strung together nine- and 12-game hitting streaks. Callaspo has four doubles, a homer and 14 RBIs during the past 29 games, with nine walks and five strikeouts.

"He's been hitting the ball hard," Scioscia said.

Worth noting

• Both clubs were unable to complete sweeps on Sunday. Minnesota's four-game winning streak ended with a 7-1 loss to Cleveland, while Los Angeles managed just four hits in a 6-0 loss to Oakland.

• The Twins are 2-0 against Los Angeles this season. The Angels, though, have won their past five home games and nine of the last 10 series against Minnesota. Comments