July 2010

Going for the series win: Twins vs. White Sox

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS — Today is a big start for Nick Blackburn and a big game for the Twins, as they go for the series win over the White Sox.

Blackburn’s rotation spot has appeared tenuous of late. He’s 1-4 with an 11.12 ERA in his last five starts. So he could really use a good outing today coming off back-to-back impressive starts by Francisco Liriano and Carl Pavano.

White
Sox (50-40)

Juan
Pierre, LF
Omar Vizquel, 3B
Alex Rios, CF
Paul Konerko, DH
Carlos
Quentin, RF
Mark Kotsay, 1B
Alexei
Ramirez, SS
Ramon Castro, C
Gordon Beckham, 2B

Pitching: RHP Freddy Garcia (9-3, 4.36 ERA)

Twins

(48-43)

Denard Span, CF

Orlando Hudson, 2B
Joe Mauer, C
Jason Kubel, RF
Michael Cuddyer, 1B
Jim Thome, DH
Delmon Young, LF
Danny
Valencia, 3B

J.J. Hardy, SS

Pitching: RHP Nick Blackburn (7-7, 6.40 ERA)

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Rain, Rain stay away: Twins vs. White Sox 7/17

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS — The tarp is on the field a little over an hour and a half before game time, there are puddles of water on the tarp and the sky is ominous.

Thunderstorms are predicted to be scattered throughout the evening so the hope is to get this game in tonight.

White
Sox (50-39)

Juan
Pierre, LF
Omar Vizquel, 3B
Alex Rios, CF
Paul Konerko, 1B
Carlos Quentin, RF
Mark Kotsay, DH
A.J. Pierzynski, C
Alexei Ramirez, SS
Gordon Beckham, 2B

Pitching: LHP Mark Buehrle (8-7, 4.24 ERA)

Twins

(47-43)

Denard Span, CF

Orlando Hudson, 2B
Joe Mauer, DH
Michael Cuddyer, 1B
Delmon Young, LF
Jason Kubel, RF
Danny Valencia, 3B

J.J. Hardy, SS
Drew Butera, C

Pitching: RHP Carl Pavano
(10-6, 3.58 ERA)

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A starting pitching turnaround? — Twins vs. White Sox 7/16

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS — The Twins have been looking for a kick start for their rotation and perhaps that could come tonight with Francisco Liriano on the mound.

Liriano is 0-4 with a 6.76 ERA in his past five starts. But two of those outings have been quality starts and his last really rough outing in Detroit perhaps skewed the numbers a bit. This certainly seems like a good time for Liriano to get back to the form he had in April when he was named the AL Pitcher of the Month.

As for news today, Brian Duensing was feeling much better after missing Thursday’s game due to the flu bug. He should be available tonight.

Jeff Manship has arrived at Target Field and will be available out of the bullpen, if needed. Although the club hopes that’s not the case as he’ll be the long reliever.

UPDATE: Carlos Quentin was considered a game time decision and he was a late scratch for the White Sox due to a sore right hand from being hit with a pitch in Thursday’s game.

White Sox (50-38)
Juan
Pierre, LF
Alexei Ramirez, SS
Alex Rios, CF
Paul Konerko, 1B
Carlos
Quentin, DH
Andruw Jones, RF
A.J. Pierzynski, C
Andruw Jones, RF Dayan Viciedo, 3B
Dayan Viciedo, 3B Brent Lillibridge, DH
Gordon Beckham, 2B

Pitching: RHP Gavin Floyd (5-7, 4.20 ERA)

Twins

(46-43)

Denard Span, CF

Orlando Hudson, 2B
Joe Mauer, C
Jason Kubel, RF
Michael Cuddyer, 1B
Jim Thome, DH
Delmon
Young, LF

J.J. Hardy, SS
Nick Punto, 3B

Pitching: LHP Francisco Liriano
(6-7, 3.86 ERA)

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Division showdown w/o Morneau: Twins vs. White Sox 7/15

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS — As I wrote in an earlier blog post, it appears that Justin Morneau is headed for a stint on the 15-day disabled list as he continues to recover from a concussion.

So the Twins will be without their first baseman for this critical series against the White Sox.

The Twins entered Thursday trailing Chicago by 3 1/2 games in the division race and sitting 3 games behind Detroit, who is idle today. Tonight’s contest is the first of 13 contests that remain between the White Sox and Twins during the second half. So the division rivals will see other many times before this race is decided.

As for other news, left-hander Brian Duensing is battling a case of the flu bug. So Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he wouldn’t know until later whether Duensing would be available to pitch.

White Sox (49-38)
Juan Pierre, LF
Omar Vizquel, 3B
Alex Rios, CF
Paul Konerko, 1B
Carlos Quentin, RF
Mark Kotsay, DH
A.J. Pierzynski, C
Alexei Ramirez, SS
Gordon Beckham, 2B

Pitching: LHP John Danks (8-7, 3.29 ERA)

Twins

(46-42)

Denard Span, CF

Orlando Hudson, 2B
Joe Mauer, C
Michael Cuddyer, 1B
Jason Kubel, RF
Delmon
Young, LF
Jim Thome, DH

J.J. Hardy, SS
Nick Punto, 3B

Pitching: RHP Kevin Slowey
(8-5, 4.64 ERA)

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Morneau likely headed to the DL

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS — Twins first baseman Justin Morneau said he is likely headed to the 15-day disabled list, after he tried to work out on Thursday morning but still felt some “fogginess” afterward.

Morneau, who has been out since suffering a concussion on Wed., July 7 in a game at Toronto, did say that he was encouraged by how he’s felt in recent days. He said that he’s been progressively feeling better before his slight setback and he’s encouraged by that.

But Morneau isn’t sure whether or not he’ll be ready to play in 3 or 4 days, so he thinks the club will likely make a move to put him on the DL to add another player as they face the White Sox this weekend. Morneau would be eligible to return from the DL on July 23.

“You don’t want the guys to play short-handed for too long,” Morneau said. “That’s where we are at today. Who knows if it will be good in 3-4 days but playing a big series like this you don’t want to be short-handed when you need that extra guy sometimes.”

Matt Tolbert (bruised right middle finger) is eligible to come off the DL on Friday so that will likely be the roster move.

Morneau out of the lineup: Twins at Blue Jays 7/8

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

TORONTO — Justin Morneau is not in the Twins lineup for the finale against the Blue Jays.

The first baseman is likely battling some lingering effects after he was accidentally kneed in the head by second baseman John McDonald while trying to break up a double play in the eighth inning on Wednesday night. So Michael Cuddyer get the start at first base.

Delmon Young, who strained his left wrist during an outfield collision with Denard Span, is back in the lineup — slotted in the fifth spot. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire had said at the start of this trip that he was hoping to give Span a day off during this series. He did that on Thursday with Jason Repko getting the start in center field.

Joe Mauer is DHing today while Drew Butera gets the start behind the plate.

Twins

(45-39)
Jason Repko, CF
Orlando Hudson, 2B
Joe Mauer, DH
Michael Cuddyer, 1B
Delmon Young, LF
Jason Kubel, RF
Danny Valencia, 3B
J.J. Hardy, SS
Drew Butera, C
Pitching: RHP Scott Baker
(7-7, 4.72 ERA)

Blue Jays
(42-43)

Fred Lewis, LF
Alex Gonzalez, SS
Jose Bautista, RF
Vernon Wells, CF
Adam Lind, DH
Aaron Hill, 2B
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Edwin Encarnacion, 3B
Jose Molina, C

Pitching: LHP Brett Cecil (7-5, 4.19 ERA)

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Brunansky now a Minor League coach: Twins vs. Blue Jays 7/7

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

TORONTO — It’s Final Vote week and the time is running out for Twins fans to cast their votes for Twins outfielder Delmon Young, who currently sits in fifth place as of Wednesday’s morning ballot update.

Fans have until 3 p.m. CT on Thursday to cast their ballots on mlb.com or twinsbaseball.com

As for news today, former Twins slugger Tom Brunansky has rejoined the team as a Minor League coach for the club’s rookie Gulf Coast League team in Fort Myers, Fla. Brunansky was a member of the Twins’ 1987 World Series championship team

Right-hander Anthony Slama has been named to the U.S. roster for Sunday’s All-Star Futures Game. He’ll join fellow Twins prospect, outfielder Ben Revere..

Twins

(45-38)
Denard Span, CF
Orlando Hudson, 2B
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, 1B
Michael Cuddyer, RF
Jason Kubel, DH
Delmon
Young, LF
Danny Valencia, 3B
J.J. Hardy, SS
Pitching: RHP Kevin Slowey
(8-5, 4.57 ERA)

Blue Jays (41-43)
Fred Lewis, LF
Alex Gonzalez, SS
Jose Bautista, RF
Vernon Wells, CF
Adam Lind, DH
John Buck, C
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Edwin Encarnacion, 3B
John McDonald, 2B

Pitching: LHP Marc Rzepczynski (season debut)

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Delmon still in 5th

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

TORONTO — Delmon Young may be driving in runs with regularity for the Twins over the past month and a half, but the Twins outfielder still needs fans to come out in droves thi sweek if he’s going to have a chance to win this year’s All-Star Final Vote on MLB.com.

In the results for the American League released on Tuesday, Young sat in fifth place for a second straight day. He currently trails Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis, who passed Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher for the lead. Rangers third baseman Michael Young sits third  while White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko is fourth.

Reds first baseman Joey Votto currently holds the lead in the National League All-Star Final Vote.

The Twins have launched a “Drive in Delmon” campaign to urge fans to vote for Young. It’s had to be a primarily internet-based push since the Twins are currently in Toronto.

Voting for the Final Vote runs through 3 p.m. CT on Thursday.

Hardy returns: Twins vs. Rays 7/3

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS — The Twins activated shortstop J.J. Hardy before Saturday’s game and placed infielder Matt Tolbert on the disabled list to make room on the roster.

The Twins have a pretty stacked lineup today, as you’ll see below. Certainly helps to have almost every position player healthy right now.

Rays (46-33)
Sean Rodriguez, 2B
Carl Crawford, LF
Evan Longoria, 3B
Willy Aybar, DH
Kelly Shoppach, C
B.J. Upton, CF
Ben Zobrist, 1B
Gabe Kapler, RF
Jason Bartlett, SS
Pitching: RHP Wade Davis (5-9, 4.68 ERA)

Twins

(44-36)
Denard Span, CF
Orlando Hudson, 2B
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, 1B
Jason Kubel, DH
Michael Cuddyer, 3B
Jim Thome, DH
Delmon
Young, LF
J.J. Hardy, SS
Pitching: LHP Francisco Liriano
(6-6, 3.47 ERA)

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Taking on David Price: Twins vs. Rays 7/2

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS — Summer has certainly set in at Target Field and it’s been fun to watch Twins fans really enjoy all the aspects that come with watching baseball outdoors.

One of the things that comes with outdoor baseball — fireworks.

Tonight, the Twins will host a fireworks display and there is certainly a lot of anticipation since the July 4th weekend has usually meant people waiting around outside the Metrodome to watch the city’s fireworks since they couldn’t have them in the Dome.

As for baseball news, shortstop J.J. Hardy is expected to be back for Saturday’s game and the roster move will likely involved a DL stint for Matt Tolbert, who injured his middle right finger during Wednesday’s game. Tolbert still can’t throw or hit so it seems the logical move.

Funny moment in the clubhouse today as the players were watching the World Cup before batting practice. The Uruguay-Ghana game was in extra time and there was plenty of rooting interest among the players. Some of them even had vuvuzuelas and were blowing them during the sudden death penalty kicks. Some of the biggest smiles after Uruguay’s win came from Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer as they wore “I (heart) Uruguay” T-shirts around the clubhouse.

Here are the lineups:

Rays (46-32)
Ben
Zobrist, CF
Carl Crawford, LF
Evan Longoria, 3B
Willy Aybar, DH
Matt
Joyce, RF
Kelly Shoppach, C
Carlos Pena, 1B
Sean Rodriguez, 2B
Reid Brignac, SS
Pitching: LHP David Price (11-3, 2.44 ERA)

Twins

(43-36)
Denard Span, CF
Orlando Hudson, 2B
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, 1B
Michael Cuddyer, RF
Jason Kubel, DH
Delmon Young, LF
Danny Valencia, 3B
Nick
Punto, SS
Pitching: RHP Scott Baker
(6-7, 4.97 ERA)

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