It’s an oddly festive atmosphere at Target Field tonight, despite the humid weather and threat of rain, despite the Twins’ last-place standing, despite two more injuries to deal with today, despite the distraction of the MLB draft going on. The Red Sox are in town, and that’s always a big deal, wherever they go.
This year more than most, though. Not only is Boston in the AL East race, but the Sox are also having one of the great offensive seasons in recent major-league history. And in the middle of it is that former Twin: David Ortiz.
“I love coming here,” Big Papi said before tonight’s game. “I was talking to somebody, one of my boys that works for the USA Today, and I was telling him about how it feels to play at the Metrodome. That’s not the case here at Target [Field], this is a beautiful park, this is a park that you want to come out and play. I know the fans love being outside. Minnesota is a wonderful place, I tell some friends, every time I talk about Minnesota, I talk about how clean Minnesota is. I always love to come back.”
Ortiz, who announced that this is the final season of a Hall of Fame career, is the guest of honor tonight; he’ll be honored before the game in a ceremony that will include former teammates Corey Koskie, Torii Hunter and LaTroy Hawkins.
Once the game begins, Tyler Duffey will make his third attempt to register his third win — something no Twins pitcher has managed this season. Duffey has allowed four or more runs in four straight starts.
Here are the lineups for Game 1: