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 thoughts from LEN3: Carroll, Dozier, Hicks

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: July 6, 2013 - 7:19 PM

Here are three thoughts following the Twins 6-0 win over Toronto:

1. KEY MOMENT NO. 1: The Twins had taken a 1-0 lead in the third when a run scored on Brian Dozier's groundout. Jamey Carroll stepped to the plate 3-for-8 in his career against knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. Carroll fouled off five pitches and never gave in. He was rewarded with a pitch he could handle that he ripped for a RBI double. It was a good at-bat early in the game that lifted spirits.

2. KEY MOMENT NO. 2: The Twins were up 3-0 in the seventh and needed insurance runs. Chris Parmelee hit a ground rule double and Aaron Hicks walked. Eduardo Escobar squared to bunt but Dickey pounced off the mound, fielded the ball and threw to third for the force out. Ouch. Looked like the promising inning was going to blow up. But Brian Dozier batted and blasted a three-run home run to left to make the score 6-0. ``First people have to get on then you have to knock them in,''Gardy said.``none bigger than Dozier there at the end getting hold of the ball and giving us three big runs.''

3. HICKS' RANGE: Aaron Hicks can cover some outfield. He raced over to grab Josh Thole's fly ball in the second then threw the ball to Brian Dozier, who relayed to Justin Morneau in time to double up Macier Izturis. He raced to the wall in the fourth to make a leaping grab of Colby Rasmus' drive. Then he raced in to make a tumbling catch of Thole's sinking liner in the eighth. We're waiting for him to take off offensively, but he has saved some runs with his glove and arm.

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