BALTIMORE -- Twins pitcher Liam Hendriks, who was scheduled to start Sunday's game against the Orioles, has food poisoning, so Anthony Swarzak will start in his place.
Hendriks became ill on Friday night, after the season opener, and was taken to a local hospital. He's expected to be released in the morning.
The Twins are glad they had Swarzak stretch out his arm as a starter during spring training because the hits keep coming.
Meanwhile, Jason Marquis had a good outing for Class AA New Britain today, using 75 pitches to go six innings, and allowing one run on seven hits with no walks and four strikeouts. GM Terry Ryan said Marquis will make another start for New Britain in five days, which suggests the righthander won't be ready to start for the Twins on April 15, the first time they needed a No. 5 starter.
Francisco Liriano makes his season debut tonight, as the Twins try to bounce back from the 4-2 Opening Day loss in Game 2 against the Orioles at Camden Yards.
Liriano delivered a quality start -- at least six innings pitched, three or fewer earned runs allowed -- in just 12 of 24 starts last year. That’s a percentage that has to improve dramatically for this team to have a chance.
Liriano had an encouraging spring, posting a 2.33 ERA in 27 innings, with 33 strikeouts and just five walks. We’ll see if he can carry that into the season.
Baltimore counters with righthander Tommy Hunter. The Orioles got him from the Rangers last July, along with first baseman Chris Davis, in the trade that sent reliever Koji Uehara to Texas. He made 11 starts for Baltimore after that trade and went 3-3 with a 5.00 ERA. He showed pretty good control for the Orioles, posting a 1.3 BB/9 ratio with a modest 4.5 K/9 ratio.
In recent years, Orioles pitchers have been notorious for walks, but Hunter appears to be an exception.
It’s notable that New Britain and Class AAA Rochester were a combined 5-0 coming into today. Both teams were awful in 2010. New Britain rebounded to go 72-70 last year, but Rochester was 53-91. Also worth noting that Miguel Sano, the Twins’ top prospect, hit a grand slam for Class A Beloit last night.
Over at Twins Daily, Seth Stohs has daily recaps of the team’s minor-league games. Great way to keep up on what’s going on down on the farm.
Update: Ben Revere is getting the start in right field tonight, with Ryan Doumit and Trevor Plouffe on the bench. I'd wondered if Plouffe might get a start, but lefthanders are batting .293 against Hunter, compared to .246 for righthanders.
Manager Ron Gardenhire said Doumit will catch Sunday afternoon's series finale. Asked if Mauer will be at first base, Gardenhire said he wanted to see how he got through tonight's game.
1. Denard Span, CF
2. Jamey Carroll, SS
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Justin Morneau, DH
5. Josh Willingham, LF
6. Chris Parmelee, 1B
7. Danny Valencia, 3B
8. Ben Revere, RF
9. Alexi Casilla, 2B
Starting pitcher: LH Francisco Liriano
1. Nolan Reimold, LF
2. J.J. Hardy, SS
3. Nick Markakis, RF
4. Adam Jones, CF
5. Matt Wieters, C
6. Mark Reynolds, 3B
7. Nick Johnson, 1B
8. Ronny Paulino, DH
9. Robert Andino, 2B
Starting pitcher: RH Tommy Hunter
Camden Yards. First pitch: 6:05 p.m. (Central). TV: FSN. Twins Radio Network
Follow us on Twitter: @JoeCStrib @SouhanStrib @LaVelleNeal