SAN DIEGO -- The Twins took early batting practice at Petco Park today, getting used to their first National League park of the season, a place they haven't visited since 2008. It's 66 degrees here -- yes, actually a little cooler than back in Minnesota -- and sunny as the Twins and Padres prepare for the first of a two-game series.
The Twins closed their early session with some work on bunting, with all the top- and bottom-of-the-order guys taking their turns. I presume manager Ron Gardenhire expects to need the bunt here, playing under N.L. rules, though some players just need the work anyway.
More than anything, though, Gardenhire said, being successful here tonight will depend upon Kevin Correia, the San Diego native who hasn't pitched well in five of his eight starts this year. Gardenhire said the team remains confident in the 33-year-old righthander, and believes a turnaround is just a matter hitting his target.
"One thing we watched him do pretty much all last year was locate and attack the strike zone. If you talk to Kevin, he feels great, he has no issues health-wise. But sometimes the ball just doesn't come out as crisp as it does other times," Gardenhire said. "Hopefully he'll find it tonight, he'll get his release point down and the ball will locate for him. He's got great movement, he's got good stuff. It's just about getting the ball where you want to."
Correia spent two seasons with the Padres, so he knows Petco Park well. He owns a 3-3 record and 4.83 ERA in 22 career appearances against San Diego.
Here is the lineup he'll face tonight, plus the Twins' retooled batting order: