Nishioka solid in home debut

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 17, 2011 - 6:55 AM

Nick Blackburn pitched eight strong innings, and Michael Cuddyer hit a second-inning homer Thursday, as the Twins defeated the White Sox 1-0 in a game that must have felt like another Opening Day for Tsuyoshi Nishioka.

It was Nishioka's Target Field debut, his first major league game as a shortstop and his first official game since he broke his left fibula on April 7 in New York.

Nishioka got tested early and often, as the White Sox hit 11 ground balls to him, including two in the first inning. Nishioka and second baseman Alexi Casilla turned two double plays behind Blackburn, and Nishioka's only error came on a sixth-inning grounder by Paul Konerko.

"I think it was a good test for me to have 11 grounders," Nishioka, a three-time winner of Japan's Gold Glove Award, said through an interpreter. "I had that one error, but Blackburn picked me up, so I thank him for that."

Blackburn outdueled Mark Buehrle and improved to 5-0 with a 2.29 ERA in his past nine starts.

Lineup shuffle

Manager Ron Gardenhire surprised Nishioka by putting him in the No. 3 spot in the batting order, and last year's Japanese batting champion went 1-for-4 with an infield single and two strikeouts, leaving his average at .214.

Nishioka could be moved to the No. 9 spot on Friday, when Joe Mauer returns to the lineup.

"I think the 3 spot is for Joe [Mauer], so I kind of thought about wearing No. 7," Nishioka said.

Roster moves

The Twins had to clear a spot on their 40-man roster for Mauer, who was on the 60-day disabled list, so they passed outfielder Brian Dinkelman through waivers and assigned him outright to Class AAA Rochester.

They also activated lefthanded reliever Glen Perkins from the 15-day disabled list, optioning Chuck James back to Rochester.

The moves left the Twins with three catchers -- Mauer, Drew Butera and Rene Rivera -- for the weekend interleague series against San Diego, but Gardenhire said one will come off the active roster before the team travels to San Francisco next week.


• Gardenhire said Joe Nathan (strained right flexor muscle) will be heading on a rehab assignment to Rochester.

• The Twins signed their second-round draft pick, former Eden Prairie High School and University of Oregon righthander Madison Boer.

  • related content

  • Tsuyoshi Nishioka

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Atlanta - LP: J. Teheran 2 FINAL
Philadelphia - WP: C. Hamels 9
Washington 0 FINAL
Miami 8
Boston 4 FINAL
Minnesota 4
Detroit 2 FINAL
Houston 3
Toronto - WP: C. Hynes 9 FINAL
Boston - LP: D. Hinojosa 7
Tampa Bay - WP: J. Norberto 3 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: C. Whitley 0
St. Louis 5 FINAL
NY Mets 4
Los Angeles 4 FINAL
Kansas City 4
LA Angels 1 FINAL
Oakland 4
San Diego 8 FINAL
Chicago WSox 2
Chicago WSox 12 FINAL
Seattle 4
Cleveland 2 FINAL
San Francisco 5
Milwaukee 7 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 11
Arizona 3 FINAL
Cincinnati 0
Texas 4 FINAL
Colorado 10
Pittsburgh 3 FINAL
Baltimore 3
Detroit 78 FINAL
Charlotte 102
Philadelphia 93 FINAL
Washington 106
San Antonio 103 FINAL
Orlando 91
Indiana 87 FINAL
Boston 100
Brooklyn 100 FINAL
New York 98
Chicago 91 FINAL
Milwaukee 95
Dallas 135 FINAL
Oklahoma City 131
Sacramento 111 FINAL
Houston 115
Toronto 113 FINAL
Minnesota 99
Denver 84 FINAL
Utah 98
LA Clippers 126 FINAL
Portland 122
New Orleans 113 FINAL
LA Lakers 92
Toronto 3 FINAL
Buffalo 4
Philadelphia 4 FINAL
Pittsburgh 1
Edmonton 1 FINAL
Anaheim 5
Colorado 1 FINAL
San Jose 5
Loyola-Chicago 63 FINAL
ULM 62
Michigan 65
Temple 58 FINAL
West Virginia 66
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: What are you following most closely right now?

Weekly Question