Not only does Monday mark the first time the Rays will face the effectively wild Sam Deduno, it will be the first time Tampa Bay and Minnesota have met all season.
Deduno is known for having a fair amount of movement on his pitches. Time and again opposing teams have described him as erratic and wild, yet effective.
While the Rays haven't faced him yet, the best way to prepare is simply watching video.
"Just watch a little video to see how he's getting guys out and the pitches he may give you a chance to hit," Rays All-Star Ben Zobrist said. "You might want to see a couple pitches early in the game, if there's nobody on base, but it doesn't go any further than that."
Deduno last saw action in a 7-3 loss to the Yankees on Tuesday. The right-hander gave up three runs on five hits with one strikeout and one walk. After the outing, Deduno said he felt good and made his pitches, also noting that what hits the Yankees did get weren't hit hard but "they just hit the ball to the right place."
"Deduno did fine for us," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Deduno was good. The bleeders that they hit off him, you can't do much about 'em. But he gave us an opportunity."
Where the Rays are unfamiliar with Deduno, the Twins, on the other hand, know Rays starter Roberto Hernandez quite well. The former Indian has pitched in 21 games against Minnesota, including 17 starts. Hernandez owns a 5-9 record and a 5.05 career ERA against the Twins.
But it has been some time since the Twins have seen Hernandez. They last saw him Sept. 25, 2011, in a 6-4 victory against Cleveland. Hernandez gave up four runs on seven hits, including a home run to Trevor Plouffe, in a no-decision.
So far this season, Hernandez is 4-10 with a 4.95 ERA. Rays manager Joe Maddon continues to defend Hernandez, despite the right-hander losing six of his last eight starts, arguing that the offense hasn't backed him up -- to which he may have a point as it has only scored an average of 1.5 runs in the right-hander's last four starts.
Twins: Arcia expected to return to lineup
• Oswaldo Arcia is expected to return to the lineup against Tampa Bay. The outfielder left Saturday's 6-0 Twins win in the sixth inning after he took an R.A. Dickey knuckleball off his right hand.
Arcia didn't play Sunday in Toronto for precautionary reasons, but he was available if needed.
"He's OK," Gardenhire said prior to Sunday's game. "His hand is a little sore. So he's available to play. His knee is also a little sore. I think he did that at home while trying to go to second but stumbled when they threw the ball away. But he's OK. I just told him he'll be with me today, but he's available."
• Joe Mauer extended his hitting streak to six games with a ninth-inning double to center field on Sunday. Mauer hadn't reached all day with his four previous at-bats on the afternoon until the two-out double briefly kept the Twins' hopes alive.
• Brian Dozier's six-game streak was snapped Sunday after he went 0-for-4 at the plate.
Rays: Starters setting the tone
• While Hernandez has struggled lately -- especially without offensive backup -- how the Rays starters fare has determined how the team does.
Left-hander David Price, who earned his third win in a complete-game performance on Sunday, has been a big part of that.
"He definitely creates a good vibe for the rest of the staff," Maddon said. "The other guys feed off of that, there's no question about it. When your best pitcher is doing that, it does make the other guys better. It showed up when he pitched that game in Houston the other day. Everyone caught a good wave off the emotion of that. The starters have been marching in pretty good order as of late."
Starting June 23, the Rays are 11-3, and the starting rotation leads MLB with nine wins and 12 quality starts.
• James Loney went hitless on Sunday, ending his career-high 16-game hitting streak. During that stretch, Loney carried a .406 batting average.
Kelly Erickson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.