The Twins face another must-win situation on Saturday and the task is less than enviable as they take on Royals ace and AL Cy Young candidate Zack Greinke.
While the Twins lost to Greinke last Sunday, they had chances in the contest and after scoring 10 runs on Friday night the club is hopeful that they can find a way to get the ace today. Of course, it is National TV today and a chance for Greinke to show voters that he indeed does deserve the award.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said that the entire bullpen is available today, despite last night’s game where nearly everyone had to be used to get through the win.
Brian Duensing is available out of the bullpen again today. If the Twins need someone early to help out starter Nick Blackburn, who is pitching on three days rest, Duensing would be the first one to go. If the Twins are still one game back on Sunday, Carl Pavano will get the start on short rest instead of Duensing — or if the Twins have to use Duensing today then Pavano could also get the nod.
While Gardenhire said that Joe Mauer was exhausted after last night’s game, the catcher was behind the plate again today. Just shows you that it’s pennant chase baseball and everyone can bounce back at this time of year.
Also, the curtain has been raised today as the Twins expect a nearly packed house for the second to last game at the Metrodome. Should be plenty of excitement as the Twins try to put pressure on the Tigers before their game with the White Sox later tonight.
4th place in AL Central, 20 games back
Willie Bloomquist, LF
Mitch Maier, CF
Billy Butler, 1B
Mike Jacobs, DH
Alberto Callaspo, 2B
Mark Teahen, RF
Miguel Olivo, C
Alex Gordon, 3B
Luis Hernandez, SS
Pitching: RHP Zack Greinke (16-8, 2.06)
2nd place in AL Central, 1 game back
Denard Span, CF
Orlando Cabrera, SS
Joe Mauer, C
Jason Kubel, RF
Michael Cuddyer, 1B
Delmon Young, LF
Jose Morales, DH
Matt Tolbert, 3B
Nick Punto, 2B
Pitching: RHP Nick Blackburn (11-11, 4.08)
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