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: Sabathia 10-0 vs. Twins in last 11 starts

Posted by: Phil Miller under MLB Updated: July 3, 2013 - 5:52 PM

This hasn't been a typical CC Sabathia season, not with his game log dotted with games in which he's allowed seven, six, five (twice) and four (five times) runs. The left-hander's ERA is 4.15, higher than any season ERA since he was a 21-year-old breaking in with the Indians in 2002. He's allowed 17 home runs already; his career-high is 22, set last year, so he's giving up more instant offense than ever before.

Not that any of that matters against the Twins, who have long been Sabathia's favorite toy. The Yankees' ace is unbeaten in his last 11 starts against Minnesota, including the postseason, going 10-0 in that stretch with a 1.96 ERA in 78 innings. Only two current Twins, Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau, were on the roster the last time the Twins beat Sabathia, back in 2007 when he was with the Indians.

With that track record, P.J. Walters has a real challenge ahead of him tonight, as he tries to maintain his grasp on a spot in the rotation. The Twins have already announced that Mike Pelfrey will start Saturday in Toronto and Scott Diamond will start Sunday, and while those plans could change -- heck, I've even heard a six-man rotation until the All-Star break discussed -- it sure looks like tonight might be Walters' last start here for awhile. After giving up 16 runs in 9 1/3 innings over his last three starts, he desperately needs a strong outing tonight.

Sabathia, meanwhile, will be trying for his 200th career win, which would make him just the eighth pitcher since 1961 to win 200 games before his 33rd birthday.

The Twins have Clete Thomas in right field tonight, with Aaron Hicks in center, the first time they've used that alignment this year. Joe Mauer is the DH, with a day game coming tomorrow, and Ryan Doumit is the catcher. Manager Ron Gardenhire was saying before the game that Oswaldo Arcia feels more comfortable in right field than left, but with Josh Willingham on the disabled list, "he's going to be out there quite a bit."

The Yankees have made a roster move, adding five-year major-league veteran Luis Cruz and putting him at shortstop tonight, one day after Alberto Gonzalez drove in three runs. Jayson Nix has been moved to the 15-day disabled list.

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


Gardner CF
Ichiro RF
Cano 2B
Hafner DH
Almonte LF
Overbay 1B
Steward C
Cruz SS
Adams 3B

Sabathia LHP


Dozier 2B
Mauer DH
Doumit C
Morneau 1B
Plouffe 3B
Arcia LF
Hicks CF
Thomas RF
Florimon SS

Walters RHP


New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Toronto 104 FINAL
Indiana 91
Cleveland 103 FINAL
Detroit 95
Milwaukee 109 FINAL
Miami 102
Memphis 109 FINAL
Dallas 90
Chicago 113 FINAL
Golden State 111
Washington 98 FINAL
LA Lakers 92
NY Rangers 1 FINAL
NY Islanders 4
Arizona 3 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 4
Winnipeg 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 5
Washington 3 FINAL
Columbus 4
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL
Carolina 4
Dallas 2 FINAL
Montreal 3
Detroit 5 FINAL
Florida 4
Colorado 3 FINAL(OT)
Nashville 4
Buffalo 1 FINAL
Calgary 4
Minnesota 2 FINAL
Edmonton 1
Anaheim 4 FINAL
Vancouver 0
Ball State 47 FINAL
Akron 59
Northern Ill 46 FINAL
Bowling Green 56
Western Mich 71 FINAL
Buffalo 77
Ohio 40 FINAL
Eastern Mich 76
Xavier 66 FINAL
Georgetown 53
Vanderbilt 62 FINAL
Georgia 70
West Virginia 65 FINAL
Kansas State 59
Central Mich 53 FINAL
Kent State 63
Saint Josephs 48 FINAL
La Salle 53
Nebraska 44 FINAL
Michigan 58
Miami-Ohio 65 FINAL
Toledo 70
Tulsa 62 FINAL
Tulane 55
George Washington 48 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 72
Pittsburgh 67 FINAL
Virginia Tech 70
Indiana State 78 FINAL
Evansville 89
Tabor College 53 FINAL
Oral Roberts 94
Florida 52 FINAL
Alabama 50
Tennessee 64 FINAL
Arkansas 69
Texas A&M 71 FINAL
Auburn 61
Baylor 53 FINAL
Oklahoma State 64
DePaul 0 Postponed
Providence 0
Michigan State 0 Postponed
Rutgers 0
Wyoming 44 FINAL
Utah State 56
Fresno State 47 FINAL
San Diego St 58
Nevada 62
SD Christian 54 FINAL
CS-Bakersfield 79
Colorado State 78 FINAL
Boise State 82
Temple 71 FINAL
UCF 54
Campbell 42 FINAL
Presbyterian 51
Coastal Carolina 65 FINAL
High Point 73
Gardner-Webb 49 FINAL
Radford 59
UNC-Asheville 58 FINAL
Liberty 62
Winthrop 63 FINAL
Longwood 62
Columbia International 33 FINAL
Charleston Southern 74
Tulane 63 FINAL
Houston 46
(3) Baylor 89 FINAL
TCU 67
Navy 49 FINAL
American Univ 59
Valparaiso 42 FINAL
Illinois-Chicago 60
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