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.

Thomas back in the leadoff spot as Twins take on Cleveland

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: June 22, 2013 - 3:55 PM


With a righthander on the mound for Cleveland, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire has returned Clete Thomas to the leadoff spot rather than keep Brian Dozier in the spot. Thomas is not known for being a table setter but he is batting .267 since replacing the injured Aaron Hicks in center field.

Dozier, who has homered in three straight games, is batting eighth.

Josh Willingham is not in the lineup, so we'll see if it has anything to do with his troubled left knee. Gardy might have decided before the series that Hammer was going to get a day off and picked today. We'll see.

Chris Parmelee to getting a start, which could be attributed to Willingham being held out of the lineup. Parmelee has started just two of the last nine games as Gardy has kept Willingham, Ryan Doumit and Oswaldo Arcia in the lineup.

Twins have homered in six straight games but Indians righthander Corey Kluber has given up just seven home runs in 65 innings.

Twins outfielders are batting .225, the lowest in the American League.

UPDATES:

Glen Perkins will be wearing a microphone during tonight's game for the FOX network.

Thom Brennaman and Bert Blyleven will call the action for FOX.

Yes, Gardy decided that today would be the best day to give Hammer a break.

Gardenhire put Thomas in the leadoff spot because he's been O.K. there, plus he felt the bottom of the order would be too lefthanded, with Arcia and Parmelee down there. But it sounds like he'll continue to bat Dozier leadoff against lefties.

Aaron Hicks had a good workout today and  will go through full baseball activities tomorrow before joining Class AAA Rochester on Monday.

 


Twins (33-37)

1. Clete Thomas, CF
2. Joe Mauer, C
3. Ryan Doumit, DH
4. Justin Morneau, 1B
5. Trevor Plouffe, 3B
6. Oswaldo Arcia, LF
7. Chris Parmelee, RF
8. Brian Dozier, 2B
9. Pedro Florimon, SS

Pitching: P.J. Walters, RHP

Indians (37-35)

1. Michael Bourn, CF
2. Mike Aviles, SS
3. Jason Kipnis, 2B
4. Michael Brantley, LF
5. Carlos Santana, C
6. Mark Reynolds, 1B
7. Jason Giambi, DH
8. Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B
9. Drew Stubbs, RF

Pitching: Corey Kluber, RHP

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