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03/21/11 4:31 PM ET

Maholm gives solid effort in Bucs' loss

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Twins starter Brian Duensing picked up his third win of the month while making his longest start of the spring on Monday. Aided by production from the top of Minnesota's lineup, Duensing led the Twins to a 4-1 victory over the Pirates at McKechnie Field.

The top four in the Twins' lineup had seven hits against Pirates starter Paul Maholm, who extended himself out to six innings for the first time this spring.

An RBI single by Joe Mauer was sandwiched between hits from Matt Tolbert and Delmon Young in the third as the Twins tied the game at 1-1. Minnesota then took the lead two innings later when Denard Span doubled and later scored on a double play.

Tolbert, Mauer and Young all finished with multi-hit games for the Twins, who are now 13-10 this spring.

"He had all of his pitches working," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said of Duensing. "His location was outstanding. He was moving the ball inside and out, using both sides of the plate. He had a great little breaking ball he could flip over any time he wanted to."

Though Maholm gave up just two runs, he did scatter nine hits in his six-inning effort. Only one of those, though, went for extra bases. The lefty finished with five strikeouts and two walks.

"Today I threw in a good bit," Maholm said. "Everything was working. They hit a few changeups that were decent -- they weren't horrible, but they weren't exactly where I wanted them. That's part of it. It's good to be able to battle and get through six innings and to throw close to 100 pitches."

Pittsburgh scored its only run off Duensing in the second on a two-out RBI single by Jason Jaramillo. Jaramillo, who will make the Opening Day roster only if the Pirates opt to carry three catchers, is now 11-for-22 this spring.

Duensing worked five innings and gave up just three hits. The left-hander struck out two and walked one in what was his fifth start of the spring. Monday marked the first time that Duensing had pitched more than four innings.

The Twins added a pair of insurance run in the ninth on James Beresford's groundout and Pedro Ciriaco's fielding error. Both runs came off Bucs reliever Anthony Claggett.

Glen Perkins, Matt Capps, Carlos Gutierrez and Chuck James all made scoreless relief appearances for the Twins, while Jose Veras pitched a scoreless inning out of the 'pen for Pittsburgh.

Up next for the Pirates: Pittsburgh will have its final off-day of Spring Training on Tuesday before returning to action against the Astros on Wednesday. Houston will be making its only trip of the spring to McKechnie Field for the game, which is scheduled to begin at 1:05 p.m. ET. Brian Burres will start for the Pirates, while Houston will send J.A. Happ to the mound.

Up next for the Twins: Right-hander Carl Pavano, the club's projected Opening Day starter, is scheduled to start against one of his former teams when he takes the mound against the Marlins on Tuesday at 12:05 p.m. CT at Roger Dean Stadium. Right-hander Kyle Waldrop and left-hander Dusty Hughes are also scheduled to pitch.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.