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.

Healthy Hendriks finally gets to pitch in Baltimore

Posted by: Phil Miller under MLB Updated: April 5, 2013 - 12:15 PM

BALTIMORE -- He hasn't thrown a pitch yet, and already Liam Hendriks' second trip to Baltimore is about a million times better than his first.

The 24-year-old Aussie makes his first start of the season today against the Orioles, on Opening Day at Camden Yards. Last year, the Twins opened the season here, and Hendriks was scheduled to pitch the third game. He spent that day in the hospital instead.

"Yeah, I don't even like to think about it," Hendriks said. "It's as sick as I've ever been. I remember being in [the emergency room] with a guy who had his head bashed in at the game."

The night before the season opener, Hendriks and his fiancee had a pasta dinner at a fancy Baltimore restaurant, and the next day, he didn't feel right. At dinner after the game, he didn't eat, and back at his hotel, "I said I was going to try to lie down. As soon as I did, I had to run to the bathroom, and I was in there throwing up for about four hours."

When he was still sick around 1:30 a.m., his fiancee took him to a nearby hospital, where he spent the next three nights. "They ended up putting me in the cancer ward so my fiancee could stay with me," said Hendriks, who finally was released from the hospital and flew home a day after the Twins left town. "It was a little insane."

The culprit, Hendriks believes, was the spinach in his pasta, so he's been avoiding the vegetable this year. Today, he hopes to avoid some Orioles' bats as he fights to remain in the rotation with Scott Diamond's return looming. "I feel really good about all my pitches right now," Hendriks said. "It's as good as I've felt all spring. I'm ready."

No word yet on Cole De Vries' status; the right-hander had a bullpen session scheduled today to determine whether the pain in his forearm has dissipated enough to allow him to start on Sunday.

Opening Day festivities start around 1:30 CT today (2:05 CT first pitch), with a tribute to Earl Weaver among the highlights. The Twins will also provide the opposition for the Royals' home opener on Monday. "That's what happens when you lose," manager Ron Gardenhire joked before the game. "Hey, let's get the Twins for Opening Day!"

His lineup today includes a new shortstop, though Gardenhire said Eduardo Escobar's presence was merely an attempt to get everyone a start in the first few days, not a reflection of the fielding difficulties Pedro Florimon had the past couple of games. In addition, Ryan Doumit gets his first start as catcher, shifting Joe Mauer to DH. The lineups:

Hicks CF
Mauer DH
Willingham LF
Morneau 1B
Doumit C
Plouffe 3B
Parmelee RF
Dozier 2B
Escobar SS

Hendriks P

McLouth LF
Machado 3B
Markakis RF
Jones CF
Davis 1B
Weiters C
Hardy SS
Flaherty 2B
Reimold DH

Arrieta P


Atlanta - WP: E. Stults 4 FINAL
Detroit - LP: J. Chamberlain 2
Washington - LP: X. Cedeno 2 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: M. Wacha 6
Philadelphia 4 FINAL
Pittsburgh 18
Baltimore 6 FINAL
Tampa Bay 6
Miami - LP: D. Haren 1 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: R. Montero 7
San Diego 6 FINAL
Cincinnati 3
San Francisco 5 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 8
Colorado 2 FINAL
Oakland 11
LA Angels - LP: N. Tropeano 3 FINAL
Seattle - WP: T. Walker 5
Cleveland 4 FINAL
Chicago WSox 1
Kansas City 11 FINAL
Texas 7
Los Angeles 4 FINAL
Arizona 2
Toronto 7 FINAL
Houston 4
Minnesota - LP: C. Johnson 2 FINAL
Boston - WP: J. Masterson 14
Boston 116 FINAL
Charlotte 104
LA Lakers 113 FINAL
Philadelphia 111
Houston 96 FINAL
Toronto 99
Milwaukee 88 FINAL
Atlanta 101
Sacramento 83 FINAL
Memphis 97
Utah 104 FINAL
Minnesota 84
Phoenix 86 FINAL
Portland 109
Tampa Bay 5 FINAL
Montreal 3
Vancouver 4 FINAL
St. Louis 1
Calgary 5 FINAL
Dallas 3
Los Angeles 1 FINAL
Chicago 4
Edmonton 4 FINAL
Colorado 1
Buffalo 4 FINAL
Arizona 1
Loyola-Chicago 65
Dayton 70 FINAL
(1) Connecticut 91
(6) Tennessee 48 FINAL
(4) Maryland 58
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