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.

Three Twins postgame things from LEN3: Doumit, Middlebrooks, Ross, Hicks

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: May 7, 2013 - 11:17 PM


Here are three thoughts following the Twins' win on Tuesday.

1. DOUMIT STEPS UP: Ryan Doumit entered the game with no homers and batting .198. But hit lined a double in his second at-bat and homered in his third. Doumit admitted that his confidence has been shaky lately, so he really needed a couple solid hits. He also has to get used to sporadic playing time, as the Twins are committed to playing Oswaldo Arcia as much as they can, and that might mean at DH. The M & M boys will need their days there too.  ``I've never had to deal with it in my career,'' Doumit said. ``What do you do at this point? I have to be prepared.''

2. DOUBLE WHAMMY: Will Middlebrooks made a nice sliding catch in foul territory of Chris Parmelee's flare in the fifth, but it came at a price. Middlebrooks collided with catcher David Ross after making the play. Ross ended up leaving the game with a sore left quad. Middlebrooks had to leave with a sore right side. And his replacement, Pedro Ciriaco, butchered two balls in the eighth that fueled the Twins' four-run inning.

3. HICKS IN CROSSHAIRS?: Twins manager Ron Gardenhire did not like the way Aaron Hicks, who entered the game as a defensive replacement, flipped the ball to Brian Dozier after catching a fly ball in the eighth. And Gardy let Hicks have it after the inning. Hicks said he understood why the manager wasn't happy with him. Hicks didn't start on Tuesday and part of the reason might have been how he's gone after fly balls. But I wouldn't be surprised if Hicks is back in there Wednesday.

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