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.

Pregame: Morneau's still here, but Dozier's out

Posted by: Phil Miller under MLB Updated: July 31, 2013 - 6:23 PM

With the trade deadline passed and no current Twin turning in his uniform, attention turns to playing out the rest of the season, and in tonight's case, trying to break the Royals' seven-game winning streak.

Justin Morneau is right where he hoped he would be today -- in the middle of the Twins' lineup. July hasn't been a good month for the cleanup hitter -- he's batting .174 this month, with a .337 slugging percentage -- so he's likely eager to move on to August, too.

UPDATE: Morneau said he's glad he wasn't traded, but it's not much relief, because trades can still be consummated during August, if players clear waivers. “It was just the first deadline with the second deadline coming. It’s just part of the game. Everyone goes through it," he said. "But it’s the first time it was a reality for me. It’s probably been tougher on my family and all that. But we’re professionals and that’s what you do. You deal with it.”

 

Same for Kevin Correia, tonight's starting pitcher, who has a 7.11 ERA in July. He has only one win since June 19, and his last start was his worst as a Twin -- 1 2/3 innings, six runs in Seattle.

Brian Dozier isn't playing tonight, so his knee must still feel sore.

UPDATE: Dozier was fitted with a knee brace, and said he'll wear orthotics in his shoes, just to keep his knee stable. He's got a bone bruise where the two bones meet, he said, and has been dealing with some minor pain for a few weeks, pain which got worse when he tried to beat out a bunt in Seattle. The knee soreness trigged a minor back spasm, which has now subsided.

Whew. That sounds like a lot, but Dozier said he actually feels ready to play; manager Ron Gardenhire just decided to give him another game of rest, just to make sure. But he's available to play if necessary, he said.

Here are tonight's lineups:

ROYALS

ROYALS

Gordon LF
Hosmer 1B
Butler DH
Perez C
Lough RF
Tejada 2B
Moustakas 3B
Escobar SS
Dyson CF

Guthrie RHP

TWINS

Thomas LF
Carroll 2B
Mauer C
Morneau 1B
Doumit DH
Plouffe 3B
Herrmann RF
Hicks CF
Florimon SS

Correia RHP
 

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