April 2010

Jackie Robinson Day: Twins vs. Red Sox 4/15

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS — Target Field held up in the rain during Wednesday afternoon’s contest but while it was overcast and rainy this morning, the sky is clearing up just before game time so it should be a nice day for baseball.

Today is Jackie Robinson Day and baseball is celebrating the 63rd anniversary of Robinson breaking the color barrier in the sport. Throughout baseball, players will wear No. 42 in remembrance of Robinson and for guys like Denard Span and Orlando Hudson it’s indeed a special day.

As for Twins news this morning, Brian Duensing is considered to be a game-time decision because he has the stomach flu. Pat Neshek also has a strained flexor tendon in the middle finger of his right hand. Neshek was not going to throw today after throwing close to 40 pitches on Wednesday but the club will have to wait and see how his finger reacts in the coming days.

Otherwise, Jim Thome is in the starting lineup for the first time at Target Field. He’ll DH while Jason Kubel shifts to left field. Ron Mahay was also in the clubhouse this morning and the left-hander will be available for the game.

Red Sox (4-4)
Marco Scutaro, SS
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Victor Martinez, C
Kevin
Youkilis, 1B
Adrian Beltre, 3B
Mike Lowell, DH
J.D. Drew, RF
Bill Hall, CF
Jeremy Hermida, LF
Pitching: RHP Tim Wakefield

Twins

(6-3)
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: LHP Francisco Liriano

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Back to Baseball: Twins vs. Red Sox 4/14

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS — Now that the pomp and circumstance of Opening Day at Target Field is over, the Twins turn their focus truly back to baseball and getting comfortable at their new home.

Red Sox (3-4)

Marco Scutaro, SS
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Victor Martinez, C
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
David Ortiz, DH
Adrian Beltre, 3B
J.D. Drew, RF
Mike Cameron, CF
Jeremy Hermida, LF
Pitching: RHP John Lackey

Twins
(6-2)

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 Kevin Slowey

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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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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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Going for the Series Win: Twins vs. Angels 4/8

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

ANAHEIM – Twins manager Ron Gardenhire stuck to his word and inserted Jim Thome into the lineup for a second straight day. Thome didn’t have the best first night on Wednesday, going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. But he’ll be the DH and Jason Kubel will shift into left field with Delmon Young getting the night off.

The Twins are prepared for a less than ideal travel schedule tonight, when they leave Anaheim after the game and are scheduled to arrive in Chicago at 5:30 a.m. So I’m sure everyone will be hoping for a quick game tonight, to speed up the travel process.

Twins
(2-1)

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
Brendan Harris, 3B
Pitching: RHP Kevin Slowey

Angels (1-2)
Erick
Aybar, SS
Bobby
Abreu, DH
Torii Hunter, CF
Hideki Matsui, LF
Kendry Morales,
1B
Juan Rivera, RF
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Maicer Izturis, 3B
Jeff Mathis, C
Pitching: RHP Joel Pineiro
 
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Thome gets first start: Twins at Angels 4/7

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

ANAHEIM – Jim Thome makes his debut as a starter in the Twins lineup, batting sixth as the the club’s designated hitter.

With Thome in the lineup, Jason Kubel sits today. Manager Ron Gardenhire said in his pre-game session that he plans to mix and match over the next few games to get everyone in a game. That includes possibly starting catcher Drew Butera on Friday night in Chicago following the late night flight and turnaround for a night game there.

Gardenhire is also feeling better after missing the final few innings of last night’s game due to flu-like symptoms. He’ll be back in the dugout tonight.

Twins (1-1)
Denard Span, CF
Orlando
Hudson, 2B
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, 1B
Michael Cuddyer, RF
Jim Thome, DH
Delmon Young, LF
J.J. Hardy, SS
Nick Punto, 3B
Pitching: RHP Carl Pavano

Angels (1-1)
Erick Aybar, SS
Bobby
Abreu, RF
Torii Hunter, CF
Hideki Matsui, DH
Kendry Morales,
1B
Juan Rivera, LF
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Mike Napoli, C
Brandon Wood, 3B
Pitching: RHP Ervin Santana
 
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Another day, same ol’ lineups: Twins at Angels 4/6

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

ANAHEIM –Both the Twins and Angels are running out their Opening Day lineups for a second straight night, as they meet in game 2 of the four-game set at Angel Stadium.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire had considered starting Brendan Harris at third base against the lefty, but said that the career numbers caused him to stick with Nick Punto for a second straight night. Punto is 4-for-12 against Saunders while Harris is 0-for-3.

Orlando Hudson’s left knee is doing fine after he was hit by a pitch on Monday night. Gardenhire said he didn’t even have to ask Hudson if he wanted to play.

In other news, Ron Mahay pitched a scoreless inning in an intrasquad game down in Fort Myers today. Mahay will join the Class A Fort Myers Miracle squad tomorrow. The purpose is just to get Mahay innings and the club feels it doesn’t matter where those innings come just that he gets to pitch.

UPDATE: The Twins also received good news on right-hander Clay Condrey today. His MRI exam showed a flexor strain in his elbow but no
other structural or ligament damage. They’ll have Condrey rest for 10-14 days and the hope is that he can get back on the mound soon after that.

And here are your lineups for Game 2:

Twins
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 Nick Blackburn

Angels
Erick Aybar, SS
Bobby Abreu, RF
Torii Hunter, CF
Hideki Matsui, DH
Kendry Morales, 1B
Juan Rivera, LF
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Brandon Wood, 3B
Jeff Mathis, C
Pitching: LHP Joe Saunders
 
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Lights, Camera, Action: Opening night vs. Angels

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

ANAHEIM -Opening Night is finally here.

After some rain showers this morning, the
sky has cleared and it’s a beautiful sunny California afternoon in
Orange County.Manager Ron Gardenhire was asked if it bothers him that
his team’s contest is one of the last of the day when lots of baseball had been played. But he said that he felt like his club had already been through an Opening Day with the Target Field exhibition contest this past weekend.

Here are your Opening Night lineups:

Twins 

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 Scott Baker

Angels
Erick Aybar, SS
Bobby Abreu, RF
Torii Hunter, CF
Hideki Matsui, DH
Kendry Morales, 1B
Juan Rivera, LF
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Brandon Wood, 3B
Jeff Mathis, C

Pitching: RHP Jered Weaver
 

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Let’s do it again: Target Field exhibition game #2

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS — The Twins were able to take batting practice on their home field for the first time on Saturday morning. The sun is shining and it’s an absolutely beautiful early spring day here in the Twin Cities.

One day after getting their first real glimpse of Target Field, the Twins players are still shaking their heads and trying to convince themselves that this is real. Many were saying how they wish they could stay here and play the opener, but tonight they’ll board a plane for Los Angeles to start the season with four games against the Angels.

Manager Ron Gardenhire said that Clay Condrey (sore right arm) threw 25 pitches in a Minor League game yesterday in Fort Myers, Fla. He reported feeling good afterward and he’ll join the team in Anaheim.

Cardinals (15-13)
Skip Schumaker, 2B

Brendan Ryan, SS
Albert Pujols, 1B
Matt Holliday, LF
Colby Rasmus, CF
Ryan Ludwick, RF
David Freese, 3B
Nick Stavinoha, DH
Jason LaRue, C

Pitching:LHP Jaime Garcia

Twins (15-14)

Denard Span, CF

Orlando Hudson, 2B
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, 1B

Michael Cuddyer, RF
Jim Thome, DH
Delmon Young, LF
J.J. Hardy, SS
Brendan Harris, 3B
Pitching: RHP Kevin Slowey

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Welcome to Target Field: Exhibition game #1

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS — It’s finally here.

The Twins will get their first test run of their new ballpark tonight in an exhibition contest against the Cardinals.

There was rain a little earlier in the afternoon, forcing the Twins to shorten a quick fielding session on the field. But now the sun is starting to peak out and the expectation is for baseball tonight.

The Twins are running out their Opening Day lineup for the contest and before the team took the field, manager Ron Gardenhire announced that Jon Rauch will be his closer. More on that later.

For now, here are the lineups for tonight.

Cardinals (14-13)
Skip Schumaker, 2B

Brendan Ryan, SS
Albert Pujols, 1B
Matt Holliday, LF
Colby Rasmus, CF
Ryan Ludwick, RF
Felipe Lopez, DH
David Freese, 3B
Matt Pagnozzi, C

Pitching:RHP Kyle Lohse

Twins (15-13)

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

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