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.

Pregame: Mauer back at DH; Morneau bats 3rd

Posted by: Phil Miller under MLB Updated: May 18, 2013 - 4:16 PM

Joe Mauer is back in the lineup today, albeit at designated hitter for the 11th time this season. His back is decidedly better today, manager Ron Gardenhire said. For those who emailed and tweeted me about why Mauer didn't pinch-hit last night: Gardenhire said as the chilly night went on, it became clear that it wasn't worth risking making his back any worse. He got treatment, and it must have worked, because Gardenhire said he could catch tonight, but won't because he'll take the day game tomorrow.

Jamey Carroll is back atop the lineup, subbing for Brian Dozier, who is in a 3-for-30 slump since launching that ninth-inning home run over the Green Monster on May 6. Not much has gone right for the batter or pitcher since that moment; Dozier has lost 35 points off his batting average, and Red Sox closer Joel Hanrahan faced two more batters, then left with what turned out to be a season-ending elbow injury that required reconstruction surgery.

One other note about the lineup: It's the first time this season that Justin Morneau has batted in front of Josh Willingham. It's just a guess, but I imagine it has something to do with Ryan Dempster, the Red Sox starter today. Joe Mauer is 1-for-10 lifetime against Dempster, while Willingham is 1-for-14. Rather than putting that 2-for-24 combo together in the heart of the lineup, Gardenhire has split them with Morneau, whose 4-for-9 vs. Dempster includes a home run.

Scott Diamond vs. Ryan Dempster, by the way, is a rematch of their May 7 meeting in Fenway Park, in which Diamond and the Twins won 6-1, and also the 15th time in major-league history (since 1900; there were three in the 1880s American Association as well) that Canadian-born starting pitchers have faced each other, according to SportsNet Canada. It's the first to involve a Twin, too. Dempster is a part of six of those matchups, and is 2-2 with one no-decision in such games.

Tonight's lineups as the Twins try to snap a three-game losing streak:

RED SOX
Ellsbury CF
Gomes LF
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Napoli 1B
Nava RF
Middlebrooks 3B
Lavarnway C
Ciriaco SS

Dempster RHP

TWINS
Carroll 2B
Mauer DH
Morneau 1B
Willingham LF
Doumit C
Arcia RF
Plouffe 3B
Hicks CF
Florimon SS

Diamond LHP

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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 3rd Prd 7:04
San Jose 3
Loyola-Chicago 63 FINAL
ULM 62
UCLA 69 FINAL
Michigan 65
Temple 58 FINAL
West Virginia 66
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