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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, August 3rd (All times Eastern)

Minnesota Twins (45-60) at Boston Red Sox (53-53), 7:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Minnesota - Brian Duensing (2-6, 4.53) Boston - Felix Doubront (10-5, 4.37)

(Sports Network) - Unlikely ace Felix Doubront can add to a career-high win total tonight when the Boston Red Sox continue a four-game series with the Minnesota Twins with game two at Fenway Park.

A 24-year-old Venezuelan southpaw, Doubront entered the season with two major- league wins in 23 appearances over two seasons with the Red Sox before earning a spot in the 2012 starting rotation.

He was 5-2 through the season's first two months and continued the success through June and July, winning five of his next eight decisions - including a 10-1 defeat of the Chicago White Sox on July 18.

He's picked up a loss and a no-decision in two starts since win No. 10, allowing 12 hits and seven runs in 11 1/3 innings against Texas and the New York Yankees.

Doubront has never faced the Twins.

Minnesota was the recipient of a pitching gem in Thursday's series opener, when Samuel Deduno and two other pitchers combined on a two-hit shutout in a 5-0 win.

Deduno (3-0) won his third straight start as he gave up the two hits along with four walks and a strikeout over six innings for the Twins, who snapped a two-game slide and have won five of their past seven.

Brian Dozier hit a two-run home run, while Denard Span, Ben Revere and Ryan Doumit all drove in a run in the win.

Adrian Gonzalez had both of the hits for the Red Sox, who have dropped two straight after winning four in a row.

Jon Lester (5-9) pitched eight strong innings, but still lost his fourth straight decision. He gave up three runs on seven hits with seven strikeouts.

"It was just another one of those hard-luck outings for Jon," Boston manager Bobby Valentine said. "He pitched eight great innings and gave us a chance, we just couldn't put anything together."

The Twins go for a second straight with lefty Brian Duensing, who ended a nearly two-month drought in his last outing.

The 29-year-old was a 7-4 winner at Cleveland in a two-inning relief role on June 2, then didn't win again until throwing six innings of one-run ball in a 5-1 defeat of the Indians on July 29.

He appeared in 13 games in the interim and recorded a hold and four losses, while the Twins were 2-11 over that stretch in games he pitched.

Duensing has appeared in four games in his career against the Red Sox and is 0-1 with a hold and a 3.60 earned run average in five combined innings.

The Red Sox swept a three-game series between the teams in April at Fenway Park and have won the season series every year since the Twins won in 2006.

08/03 10:40:25 ET