The Twins can win their three-game series with Baltimore if they beat the Orioles today, and you have to like their chances with lefthander Scott Diamond on the mound.
Diamond is coming off of a strong outing on Tuesday against Boston during which he pitched seven shutout innings. He's not a true ace in a C.C. Sabathia-Felix Hernandez mode, but he's clearly the staff ace here.
The Twins could use another strong seven outings from Diamond today to bail out a worn down and banged up bullpen. Glen Perkins has been unavailable the past two games because of a sore side, and a third day off probably wouldn't hurt. So the combination of Diamond on the mound and an improving Twins offense bodes well today.
The Twins have scored at least five runs in six straight games and are 15-7 when they score more than four runs.
Will check back later with lineups and updates....and Happy Mothers Day!
Glen Perkins (sore left side) is well enough to pitch if needed.
Jared Burton is definitely out after pitching in three straight games.
Aaron Hicks (elbow) is not in the lineup but is doing better. He was seen headed to the batting cages, which is a good sign.
Joe Mauer is batting .429 over his 10-game hitting streak. Mauer, Miguel Cabrera and Jhonny Peralta each have a 10-game streak, the longest current streak in the American League.
Kyle Gibson was named Twins minor mlnor league player of the week after throwing a complete-game shutout on Wednesday.
Even with Hicks doing better, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire is having Chris Parmelee take some fly balls in center field. Parmelee hasn't played in center since high school. Parmelee has played well in the field, making a diving catch on Saturday. ``I think he's missed maybe one cutoff man all year,'' Gardy said.
Ryan Doumit is catching Scott Diamond for the fourth time this year but Gardy said only because Mauer is coming off of catching last night. Still, it's worth monitoring to see if Gardy tries to keep the pair together because they have seemed to click.
1. Nick Markakis, RF
2. Manny Machado, 3B
3. Adam Jones, CF
4. Chris Davis, 1B
5. Matt Wieters, C
6. Steve Pearce, LF
7. J.J. Hardy, SS
8. Alexi Casilla, 2B
9. Chris Synder, C
Pitching: Wei-Yin Chen, LHP
1. Brian Dozier, 2B
2. Joe Mauer, DH
3. Josh Willingham, LF
4. Justin Morneau, 1B
5. Ryan Doumit, C
6. Trevor Plouffe, 3B
7. Chris Parmelee, RF
8. Wilkin Ramirez, CF
9. Eduardo Escobar, SS
Pitching: Scott Diamond, LHP