La Velle E. Neal III has covered baseball for the Star Tribune since 1998 (the post-Knoblauch era). Born and raised in Chicago, he grew up following the White Sox and hating the Cubs. He attended both the University of Illinois and Illinois-Chicago and began his baseball writing career at the Kansas City Star. He can be heard occasionally on KFAN radio, lending his great baseball mind to Paul Allen and other hosts. Mark Rosen borrows him occasionally for WCCO-TV.

Twins-Tigers: A win and the Twins take opening series against division favorite

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: April 4, 2013 - 10:37 AM

 

Not much going on in the clubhouse this morning as the Twins prepare for their rubber match of their series against the Tigers. The Twins will shove off to Baltimore afterward for a weekend series.The Twins will end up being part of three openers this season. Theirs, the Orioles on Friday and Kansas City's on Monday.

Interesting game yesterday. Eduardo Escobar really put a swing on that Phil Coke pitch in the ninth inning. The kid has been encouraged to take a good rip at any pitch he likes, and Escobar has been letting it loose ever since spring training.

``That ball carried,'' Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter said. ``He put a charge into it. He swung the bat hard, that wasn't just to make contact.''

Detroit catcher Alex Avila said the wind had stopped blowing before the inning started, creating the conditions for the game-winning hit.

Now it's on to Tigers righthander Rick Porcello.

Jamey Carroll was in the batting cage early today -  because he's starting at second. Carroll is a career .353 hitter against Porcello. Josh Willingham is 5-for-8. Ryan Doumit is 5-for-7. Joe Mauer (.250) and Justin Morneau (, 174, 1 HR) not so hot against him.

For the Tigers, Omar Infante is a career .538 hitter against Mike Pelfrey,  and Prince is batting .455 with a homer against him.

The minor league seasons are kicking off today. Class AAA Rochester is at Buffalo, with P.J. Walters facing Justin Germano. First pitch is at 1:05 Baltimore.

Speaking of minor leagues, I'll have plenty of content next week while Phil Miller is with the team in Baltimore and Kansas City. And get your picks to click ready, as I will open the polls in the next few days.


Tigers

1. Austin Jackson, CF
2. Torii Hunter, RF
3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B
4. Prince Fielder, 1B
5. Victor Martinez, DH
6. Don Kelly, LF
7. Jhonny Peralta, SS
8. Alex Avila, C
9. Omar Infante, 2B

Pitching: RHP Rick Porcello, 6-4, 3.24 carrier v. Twins. 0-0, 5.27 in three starts last season.

Twins

1. Aaron Hicks, CF
2. Joe Mauer, C
3. Josh Willingham, LF
4. Justin Morneau, 1B
5. Ryan Doumit, DH
6. Trevor Plouffe, 3B
7. Chris Parmelee, RF
8. Jamey Carroll, 2B
9. Pedro Florimon, SS

Pitching: RHP Mike Pelfrey, RHP. First start since April 21.

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Cincinnati 0 Bottom 5th Inning
Pittsburgh 0
Minnesota 0 Bottom 4th Inning
Baltimore 1
NY Yankees 0 Top 5th Inning
Toronto 1
Philadelphia 0 Bottom 5th Inning
NY Mets 1
Boston 8 Bottom 2nd Inning
Tampa Bay 0
Miami 0 Bottom 2nd Inning
Atlanta 0
Cleveland 0 Top 1st Inning
Kansas City 0
Detroit 0 Top 1st Inning
Chicago WSox 0
Texas 0 Top 1st Inning
Houston 0
Chicago Cubs - K. Hendricks 7:15 PM
St. Louis - S. Miller
Colorado - C. Bergman 8:40 PM
Arizona - J. Collmenter
Oakland - J. Lester 9:05 PM
LA Angels - J. Weaver
Los Angeles - D. Haren 9:10 PM
San Diego - A. Cashner
Washington - J. Zimmermann 9:10 PM
Seattle - F. Hernandez
Milwaukee - W. Peralta 9:15 PM
San Francisco - R. Vogelsong
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
(21) Texas A&M 52 FINAL
(9) So Carolina 28
Wake Forest 10 FINAL
ULM 17
Boise State 13 FINAL
(18) Ole Miss 35
Tulane 31 FINAL
Tulsa 38
Rutgers 41 FINAL
Washington St 38
Weber State 14 FINAL
(19) Arizona State 45
Temple 37 FINAL
Vanderbilt 7
BYU 21 2nd Qtr 9:13
Connecticut 0
(6) Jacksonville St 0 1st Qtr 1:41
(8) Michigan State 21
Bowling Green 0 1st Qtr 2:29
Western Ky 14
TX-San Antonio 8:00 PM
Houston
Colorado State 8:00 PM
Colorado
UNLV 9:30 PM
Arizona
Penn State 8/30/14 7:30 AM
UCF
Troy 8/30/14 11:00 AM
UAB
(7) UCLA 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Virginia
Western Mich 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
(5) Ohio State 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Navy
Appalachian St 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Michigan
Ga Southern 8/30/14 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 8/30/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
West Virginia 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 8/30/14 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 8/30/14 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 8/30/14 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 8/30/14 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 8/30/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8/30/14 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 8/30/14 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 8/30/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Houston 7:00 PM
Sporting Kansas City
Ottawa 3 15:00
Montreal 7
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Minnesota 9:00 PM
Phoenix

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