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Duensing gives Gordon space during World Series

MINNEAPOLIS -- Longtime Twins left-hander Brian Duensing will officially become a free agent after the World Series, but he will be watching his good friend, Royals left fielder Alex Gordon, in the Fall Classic for a second straight year.

Duensing and Gordon were roommates together at the University of Nebraska, and they were in each other's weddings. Both are Nebraska natives, as Duensing, 32, grew up in Omaha, while Gordon, 31, was raised in Lincoln.

Their playing careers have been intertwined since they were both drafted in 2005, as Duensing has played with the Twins since '09, while Gordon has played with the rival Royals since '07. Duensing watched Gordon reach the World Series with the Royals last season against the Giants, and now Kansas City is in the Fall Classic for a second straight year, this time against the Mets.

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"He's a great hitter and a great outfielder," Duensing said. "It's always fun to watch him play, and he's a good dude. He's quiet until you get to know him, but he has an incredible work ethic."

Duensing, though, said that while he's good friends with Gordon, he tries not to bother him during the postseason because he knows what's at stake.

"I kind of let him be," Duensing said. "There's a lot of stuff going on. He has a lot of family around and stuff like that, so it's not really the time to do it. But after the season, I'll talk to him and ask him about inside stories and stuff like that."

Duensing has been called on to face the left-handed-hitting Gordon several times in his career. Gordon has hit .294/.368/.324 in 38 plate appearances against Duensing, but he has only one extra-base hit -- a double -- and two RBIs against him.

"It's always fun," Duensing said. "I've faced him a bunch in my career. We were roommates in college, and we were in each other's weddings. We're good friends. I feel like every time I face him it's in a big moment, so it's always about bragging rights."

Duensing is also close with Mets outfielder Michael Cuddyer, who played with the Twins from 2001-11. Cuddyer was a clubhouse leader in Minnesota and a favorite of both his teammates and the fans.

Other former Twins in the World Series, include Royals backup catcher Drew Butera, designated hitter Kendrys Morales and Mets lefty reliever Sean Gilmartin, who was taken from Minnesota in the Rule 5 Draft before the season.

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast.
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