Twins vs. Red Sox 3/23

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Twins and Red Sox are set to meet up for the fifth time this season tonight and currently Minnesota trails 1-3 in the Mayor’s Cup with three contests, including this one, remaining between the crosstown rivals.

Twins closer Joe Nathan said today that he’ll undergo Tommy John ligament replacement surgery on Friday in New York. The surgery will be performed by noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. David Altchek.

Left-hander Glen Perkins has a strained back, which he suffered while doing squats during a workout on Monday’s off day. He’s listed as day-to-day but it will likely be a couple days before he can throw.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire made it clear that Michael Cuddyer will be his backup center fielder, and that he likely won’t use any infielders to back up the spot unless it’s an emergency. Cuddyer made a great catch while playing center in a game at Port Charlotte on Saturday, so there should be no concerns if he has to back up the spot during those rare occasions.

Gardenhire also labeled the race between Alexi Casilla and Matt Tolbert for the final bench spot as, `neck-and-neck.’ Remember Casilla is out of options so that could sway things.

Red Sox (9-11)
Marco Scutaro, SS
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
J.D. Drew, RF
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
David Ortiz, DH
Adrian Beltre, 3B
Jason Varitek, C
Jeremy Hazelbaker, LF
Che-Hsuan Lin, CF

Pitching: RHP Clay Buchholz

Others scheduled to pitch: Jonathan Papelbon, Hideki Okajima, Daniel Bard, Ramon Ramiez, Manny Delcarmen

Twins (9-8)

Denard Span, CF

Orlando Hudson, 2B
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, 1B
Michael Cuddyer, RF
Jason Kubel, DH
Delmon Young, LF
J.J. Hardy, SS
Nick Punto, 3B
Pitching: RHP Carl Pavano

Others scheduled to pitch: Matt Guerrier, Pat Neshek, Jesse Crain

A reminder you can follow me on Twitter  @kellythesier

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