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10/10/09 3:15 PM ET

Duensing available out of 'pen

Gardenhire says Game 1 starter will be ready to relieve if needed

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins have now officially gone to a three-man starting rotation, as manager Ron Gardenhire said on Saturday that left-hander Brian Duensing will be in the bullpen for Sunday's Game 3 of the American League Division Series.

Duensing started Game 1 of the ALDS at Yankee Stadium, allowing five runs on seven hits over 4 2/3 innings, but Minnesota will turn to Scott Baker for Game 4 and Nick Blackburn for Game 5, if those two contests are necessary.

The Twins originally wanted to go with a three-man starting staff for the ALDS, but it was impossible due to Baker having to start game No. 163 on Tuesday night against the Tigers. So instead of having Duensing out of the bullpen for the entire series, Gardenhire had to start him in the first contest.

Duensing would likely be the first arm that Minnesota turns to out of the bullpen in Sunday's Game 3 if starter Carl Pavano has any trouble.

Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.