THREE-GAME SERIES AT GREAT AMERICAN BALLPARK
Friday, 6:10 p.m. • FSN, 1500-AM
RHP Nick Blackburn (3-4, 7.48 ERA) vs. RHP Homer Bailey (5-4, 4.03)
Saturday, 3:10 p.m. • FSN, 1500-AM
LHP Brian Duensing (1-2, 3.12) vs. RHP Johnny Cueto (8-3, 2.38)
Sunday, 12:10 p.m. • FSN, 1500-AM
LHP Scott Diamond (5-3, 2.57) vs. RHP Mat Latos (5-2, 5.20)
Closer Matt Capps (shoulder) is about ready to pitch in a game, but manager Ron Gardenhire said every extra day he can give Capps, the better. Gardenhire even hinted at bringing Capps along slowly, pitching him in the seventh instead of the ninth, to get some work without being thrown into a high-leverage situation. Having Jared Burton and Glen Perkins in the bullpen allows him that option. The Twins are 8-7 all-time against the Reds but were swept in three games during the last visit there in 2001.
The Twins will get to see one of the favorites in the NL MVP race in first baseman Joey Votto. The 2010 winner is tearing up the league again. Over his past 24 games, he is batting .489 with six home runs and 17 RBI. His OPS: 1.399. ... Lefthanded reliever Aroldis Chapman has been bothered by lower-back soreness recently, but the Reds don't appear to be worried. Chapman throws 100 miles per hour and has thrown the fastball 88.3 percent of the time this season.
LA VELLE E. NEAL III