BOSTON -- Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire can put up with Samuel Deduno's wildness as long as the starter keeps limiting opponents to only two hits.
Deduno (3-0) walked four and struck out one in six innings before two relievers combined for three perfect innings. In his previous start, he allowed one run on two hits and five walks in a 12-5 victory against Cleveland.
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"I know his ball-strike ratio wasn't the greatest, but sometimes that works," Gardenhire said. "He was able to make pitches when he had to and that's all you really care about."
Deduno had an outstanding curveball and slider. He also has a fastball that moves so much that his catchers sometimes wonder where it will end up. And it led to him throwing only 50 of his 101 pitches for strikes.
"He's got a very live fastball," said shortstop Brian Dozier, who played with Deduno at Triple-A Rochester this season. "It cuts. It sinks. It rides. I don't know how he grips it, but he just kind of shoots for the middle of the plate."
Deduno, making his sixth major-league start, has given up only two earned runs and 10 hits in 19 1/3 innings
"My curveball and my slider are pretty good, but my fastball is still moving like crazy," said Deduno, who reached the majors in 2010 and pitched six games in relief for Colorado and San Diego. ""This is the most fun. This is the dream to play in the big leagues and to stay not just for one month or two months."
Adrian Gonzalez got both Boston hits, a single and double. Casey Fien retired the side in order in the seventh and Glen Perkins pitched two perfect innings for his sixth save in nine opportunities.
Deduno overshadowed one of the best performances of Jon Lester's rough season. Boston's lefty gave up three runs and seven hits in eight innings with seven strikeouts and no walks.
"I don't feel like I have thrown the ball that well all year," he said.
Lester (5-9) had allowed 25 runs in his previous four starts but improved in his last one, allowing four runs in six innings. And he was much better on Thursday despite dropping to 0-4 in his past six starts and 2-7 at Fenway Park this season.
"Just another one of those hard-luck outings," manager Bobby Valentine said. "He pitched awfully well. 2-0 doesn't seem insurmountable but it was tonight."
The Twins took a 2-0 lead in the third inning on a single by Dozier, an RBI double by Denard Span and a run-scoring single by Ben Revere that extended his career-best hitting streak to 16 games. They made it 3-0 in the sixth on back-to-back doubles by Justin Morneau and Ryan Doumit. Dozier added his third hit of the game and fifth home run of the season, a two-run shot in the ninth off Alfredo Aceves.
"That was pretty cool, man. It was one of the best feelings so far since I've been up here," said Dozier, who was called up from Rochester on May 7. "I got it pretty good. It was a 2-0 fastball up in the zone and I knew he didn't want to walk me and so he's coming with the fastball. So I closed my eyes and hit it."
The Twins won for the fifth time in seven games, while the Red Sox dropped their second straight after winning four in a row.
Deduno got 11 of his 18 outs on groundballs and stranded runners at second base in three innings.
With two outs in the first, he walked Dustin Pedroia and Gonzalez then retired Cody Ross on a popup to shortstop. In the third, Gonzalez doubled with one out, Ryan Lavarnway walked with two outs but Will Middlebrooks flied out to center. And with two outs in the sixth, Boston threatened with back-to-back singles by Gonzalez and Ross before Lavarnway lined out to left.
Deduno raised both arms as he walked off the mound.
Span stretched his hitting streak to 11 games. ... Gonzalez went 2 for 3 with a walk, his 18th muiltihit game in his past 34. ... Minnesota C Joe Mauer was given the night off to rest. He is hitting .352 in his past 57 games. ... The Red Sox stranded runners in scoring position in three of the first six innings. ... Minnesota's Brian Duensing (2-6) is scheduled to pitch Friday night in the second of the four-game series against Felix Doubront (10-5). ... Boston is 10-10 since the All-Star break. And 289-291 all-time against Minnesota.