Thome’s return to Chicago: Twins at White Sox 4/9

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

CHICAGO — Jim Thome sat in the visiting dugout at U.S. Cellular Field this afternoon and greeted the Chicago media, many like they were old friends. It’s no surprise since the man is seriously one of the nicest people you’ll come across, not only baseball but perhaps any walk of life.

Thome will have to wait until at least tomorrow to get a start against his former club. With left-hander John Danks on the mound tonight, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire chose to stick with Jason Kubel as his DH and Delmon Young is in left field. However, Thome will be available off the bench to pinch-hit and Gardenhire has already said how much he enjoyed watching Joe Crede hit a home run in his return to U.S. Cellular Field last April.

Joe Mauer is getting his first night off of the season and that means Drew Butera will make his Major League debut tonight, catching Francisco Liriano. Even though Butera is a rookie, Gardenhire said he has plenty of confidence in the catcher’s ability to keep Liriano calm during his start.

With Mauer out of the lineup, J.J. Hardy is batting in the third spot. Hardy has certainly gotten off to a hot start, he enters Friday batting .313 with two homers, and Gardenhire felt good putting him at that spot.

Also, the team seemed pretty chipper this afternoon for having arrived in Chicago around 6 a.m. this morning. The team bus had to deal with rush hour traffic on their drive into the city, and Gardenhire even joked that he had to do a double take when he saw joggers out running as they arrived into town.

Twins
(3-1)

Denard Span, CF
Orlando
Hudson, 2B
J.J. Hardy, SS
Justin Morneau, 1B
Michael Cuddyer, RF
Jason Kubel, DH
Delmon Young, LF
Brendan Harris, 3B
Drew Butera, C
Pitching: LHP Francisco Liriano

White Sox (1-2)
Juan Pierre, LF
Gordon Beckham, 2B
Carlos Quentin, RF
Paul Konerko, 1B
Andruw Jones, DH
Alex Rios, CF
Omar Vizquel, 3B
Alexei Ramirez, SS
Donny Lucy, C
Pitching: LHP John Danks
 
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