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.

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.

Santana left out of lineup, working on mechanics

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III under Ron Gardenhire, Twins game coverage Updated: July 20, 2014 - 12:01 PM
Rookie Danny Santana won’t be in the lineup today in the final installment of a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays at Target Field.
 
The centerfielder went on the disabled list June 27 because of a knee injury but returned Friday. He’s struggled in his first outings, including striking out four times in four at bats in last night’s 5-1 loss.
 
Manager Ron Gardenhire said Santana will be in the batting cage working on some mechanical fixes instead.
 
This is intern Megan Ryan, by the way, hijacking LaVelle’s blog.
 
Another thing to look for tonight is a Twins loss – because if they do fail to take one from the series, it will be Gardy’s 1,000th career loss. But the longtime manager isn’t too concerned.
 
“I don’t think it’s going to happen,” he said. “We’re going to win the rest of our games.”
 
The Twins managed five groundball double plays last night, and while Gardenhire was impressed by the play of Trevor Plouffe, Brian Dozier and Eduardo Escobar, he said there was a downside as well.
 
“There’s the old saying that if you lead the league in double plays, that means you have a lot of people on base, which is not good for your pitch staff,” he said. “But at least we’re getting ground balls and getting out of them.”
 
Here are the lineups for today’s 1:10 p.m. start:
 
RAYS
Jennings CF
Zobrist 2B
Joyce LF
Longoria 3B
Loney 1B
Guyer DH
Escobar SS
Casali C
Kiermaier RF
 
Archer SP
 
TWINS
Dozier 2B
Nunez 3B
Plouffe DH
Morales 1B
Arcia RF
Willingham LF
Escobar SS
Fryer C
Fuld CF
 
Correia SP

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