Thome in the lineup: Twins at White Sox 4/10

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

CHICAGO — The Twins entered Saturday on a four-game winning streak and while some fatigue had set in from the club’s crazy travel schedule, the clubhouse was quite upbeat before the noon contest.

There is quite a bit for the club to be pleased about considering how the offense fared in Anaheim, their ability to pull out a close on in the first contest at Chicago and the fact that Monday will mark the official opener at Target Field.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire seems particularly pleased with his club’s defense over the first five games. They’ve yet to make an error and he called shortstop J.J. Hardy’s play “unbelievable” so far this season.

A win today and the club will guarantee a great roadtrip, as it would give them series wins in both Anaheim and Chicago. Scott Baker is on the mound for the Twins, Jim Thome is in the lineup as the DH and Joe Mauer is back behind the plate after not starting on Friday (although he scored the winning run after drawing a leadoff walk in the 11th).

Twins
(4-1)

Denard Span, CF
Orlando
Hudson, 2B
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, 1B
Michael Cuddyer,
RF
Jim Thome, DH
Jason Kubel, LF
J.J. Hardy, SS
Nick Punto, 3B
Pitching: RHP Scott Baker

White Sox
(1-3)

Juan Pierre, LF
Gordon Beckham, 2B
Carlos
Quentin, RF
Paul Konerko, DH
Mark Kotsay, 1B
Alex Rios, CF
A.J. Pierzynski, C
Alexei Ramirez, SS
Mark Teahen, 3B
Pitching: RHP Freddy Garcia
 
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1 Comment

Kelly, I’ve noticed a few hits now where the balls landed just fair down the third base line at Target Field before rolling slighly into foul territory. The balls then carom off the wall in Section 127 where it sort of jutts out and kicks back onto the field rather than roll all the way back to the left field wall like they would have at the Metrodome. I’ve seen both Jason Kubel and Delmon Young seemingly fooled into moving back rather than anticipate the ball kicking out and taking a more direct line to the ball.

I’m sure that it is easier to tell from the stands or on TV the path the ball is going to take and whether it is headed for Section 127 or not. Also I realize the players aren’t going to risk letting the ball get past them under any circumstances. Still, it might be worth setting up a drill for the left fielders using a pitching machine aimed down the third base line or somebody batting with a fungo to help the fielders learn the quirks of that corner. Thanks. Lenny

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