Phil Miller covered three seasons of Twins baseball, but that was at a different ballpark for a different newspaper. Now Miller returns to the baseball beat after joining the Star Tribune as the Gopher football writer in 2010, and he won't miss the dingy dome for a minute. In addition to the Twins and Gophers, Miller covered the Utah Jazz and the NBA for six years at The Salt Lake Tribune.

Gardenhire returns from illness; Doumit debuting in left field for Twins

Posted by: Phil Miller under Twins game coverage Updated: July 19, 2012 - 10:55 AM

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was back in his office this morning after leaving Wednesday night’s game with a stomach virus.

Asked what made him sick, Gardenhire said, “Bad bunting.”

The Twins have a chance to make it three of four against the Orioles, with Cole De Vries back on the mound, opposite lefthander Wei-Yin Chen.

Jim Thome has one more chance to add to his Target Field home run total -- he’s the all-time leader with 24 -- before leaving town. Thome has 609 career homers and is tied with Sammy Sosa for seventh on the all-time list.

Gardenhire is giving Ryan Doumit his first career regular season action in left field, with Josh Willingham getting a chance to serve as the DH. Glen Perkins has pitched the past two days, so Gardenhire said this is probably a “Burton Day,” meaning Jared Burton would be the closer.

Nick Blackburn is back from his two-start stint at Class AAA Rochester. He said he studied video from his 2009 season and found a key mechanical adjustment that helped him regain some movement and command of his sinker. He’ll pitch the series opener on Friday in Kansas City.

Star Tribune sports intern Craig Malveaux is here with me today, helping with our coverage. Craig is a recent graduate from Loyola University New Orleans. Follow him on Twitter @Craig_Malveau.

Stats of the day: According to Elias, Francisco Liriano is the second pitcher in the past 13 seasons to lose back-to-back starts despite notching 25 strikeouts over the two games. The last to do it was Randy Johnson for the 2004 Diamondbacks.... The Twins have 45 home runs in 48 games at Target Field this year after hitting 46 in 81 home games last year.

ORIOLES (47-44)

1. Nick Markakis, RF
2. J.J. Hardy, SS
3. Jim Thome, DH
4. Adam Jones, CF
5. Matt Wieters, C
6. Wilson Betemit, 3B
7. Chris Davis, LF
8. Mark Reynolds, 1B
9. Ryan Flaherty, 2B

Starting pitcher: LH Wei-Yin Chen (7-5, 3.80 ERA)

TWINS (38-53)

1. Denard Span, CF
2. Ben Revere, RF
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Josh Willingham, DH
5. Justin Morneau, 1B
6. Trevor Plouffe, 3B
7. Ryan Doumit, LF
8. Brian Dozier, SS
9. Alexi Casilla, 2B

Starting pitcher: RH Cole De Vries (2-2, 4.37 ERA)

Target Field. First pitch: 12:10 p.m. TV: FSN. Twins Radio Network

Follow along on Twitter: @JoeCStrib @Craig_Malveaux

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