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.

Postgame: Colabello watches; Span shocked Swarzak

Posted by: Phil Miller under MLB Updated: June 10, 2013 - 12:01 AM

A handful of notes after a long day of baseball:

-- I hope a bunch of days off isn't too disruptive to Chris Colabello. The Rochester first baseman, named the Twins' minor-league player of the month for May, didn't play in the Red Wings' game Friday, because the Twins planned to summon him if there was a doubleheader. (He actually coached first base in the game, and told me his stellar coaching was the reason for the Wings' seven-run inning.)

Then he flew to Washington on Saturday, but couldn't play -- couldn't even be in the dugout because he wasn't on the roster yet. Finally, he was activated Sunday, but he didn't start either game. His total contribution: A pinch-hit strikeout in Game 1. He was optioned back to Rochester once it was over.

He wasn't complaining, but I wonder if, with all these short stints with the Twins (three in the past four weeks), he'll be able to hit .425 this month with six homers and 20 RBIs, as he did in May.

Rochester's righthanded reliever Aaron Thompson was the Pitcher of the Month, allowing only two earned runs in 11 appearances.

-- Ron Gardenhire felt a little hemmed in by his overused bullpen in the second game, especially when Samuel Deduno lasted only five innings. He was down to Casey Fien and Glen Perkins by the end of the game; Jared Burton was bothered by a slight groin strain, he said, Ryan Pressly had a sore triceps, and Josh Roenicke had been used two days in a row.

-- Anthony Swarzak said Denard Span surprised him by swinging at his first pitch in the sixth inning, a fastball he laced into the corner for a triple. Swarzak had noticed that Span took every first pitch all weekend -- until the reliever tried to get ahead in the count with a fastball.

-- The first game had a lot of sloppy defensive plays -- Nats' second baseman Anthony Rendon dropped a popup like a little leaguer, something you don't often see -- but it had a great one, too: Clete Thomas throwing out Jayson Werth at the plate.

"That was a great throw," pitcher Scott Diamond said. "I thought it was pretty much almost a stand-up. That's a fantastic play, and really helped me get into the next inning."

And don't forget Ryan Doumit's part -- he stood there, took the throw, and held on to the ball as Jayson Werth -- all 6-foot-5 of him -- crashed into him. "Doumit's a big guy, too," Diamond said. "He's a brick back there."

-- Washington's win in the second game was its first victory after trailing by three runs all year.

-- Stirred up a lot of response when I noted on Twitter that the Nationals fly a 1924 World Championship pennant atop their scoreboard -- a little odd, considering they were playing the franchise that actually won it. Twins president Dave St. Peter said the team absolutely claims that long-ago title, and has plans to commemorate it soon, though he didn't say how.

The Nationals seem to acknowledge lots of history here: the Expos, both versions of the Senators (the later one, born the year the first Sens moved to Minnesota, eventually became the Texas Rangers), and their own.

Nice ballpark, though, and I saw dozens of Twins fans here. The Nationals tried to make them feel at home by offering a Juicy Lucy at a concession stand as Minnesota's "Taste of the Majors." I thought about it, but decided I didn't trust their east-coast expertise to get it right.

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