Excelling lately, Diamond to start Wednesday

Excelling lately, Diamond to start Wednesday

MINNEAPOLIS -- Scott Diamond will make one more start this season, even after surpassing the 200-innings mark.

The left-hander's 7 1/3 innings in Friday's 4-2 win over the Tigers put him at 202 2/3 on the season between the Twins and Triple-A Rochester. But with Diamond's performances in his past two outings -- he has a 1.88 ERA in 14 1/3 innings -- Minnesota is OK with Diamond making his final start on Wednesday in Toronto.

It will mark the first game in Canada for the native of Guelph, Ontario.

"It's going to be pretty exciting," Diamond said. "I've never been able to pitch there. I'm definitely going to have some friends and family there, so it's going to be kind of a homecoming. I'm pretty excited about it."

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire credited Diamond's strict routine as one of the biggest reasons for his success -- a routine that was interrupted by the six-game suspension he received after throwing over the head of Texas' Josh Hamilton on Aug. 23. Diamond went 1-3 with a 7.33 ERA in his next four starts, before he rebounded with two strong showings against Detroit.

"He's come up with a good routine," Gardenhire said. "It was interrupted with that one juncture. ... It's all about routines in this game. Getting into one and sticking to it -- not varying from it."

Diamond leads all Minnesota starters with 12 wins and a 3.54 ERA in 26 starts this season. After essentially being recalled in May only as an emergency replacement, the 26-year-old has sealed a spot in the Twins' 2013 rotation.

"I would say that without even thinking about it," Gardenhire said. "He's definitely one of the guys we count on for next year."