SEATTLE -- After pitching in the Minor Leagues for 10 years, 30-year-old right-hander Yohan Pino on Thursday against the Mariners was finally rewarded with his first Major League win.
Pino, who gave up just one run on seven hits over five innings in his fifth big league start, was given the game ball after the 4-2 victory, but he was also told he would be heading back to Triple-A Rochester.
With right-hander Ricky Nolasco on the 15-day disabled list with a right elbow strain, Pino, who improved to 1-2 with a 4.39 ERA, was optioned to Rochester so that left-hander Kris Johnson could be called up from Triple-A to start the series opener in Colorado against the Rockies.
The move is only temporary, as the Twins have four days off for the All-Star break beginning Monday.
"We're optioning Pino back down because coming into the All-Star break we don't need another starter," Gardenhire said. "This works out for us roster-wise. But Pino was fabulous, and we were able to present him with the game ball after, which was really cool for us with him getting his first Major League win."
Pino took the demotion in stride because he understood the circumstances, and he was excited that he finally came away with his first big league victory after pitching in the Minors for so long.
"It was nice," Pino said. "I feel happy for my family and for everybody on the team. I just feel happy."
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.