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.

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.

Twins try to avoid getting swept by Royals

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: August 1, 2013 - 11:28 AM

 It might be up to the M&M boys to keep the Twins from being swept by the Royals.

They have lost 7-2 and 4-3 in two games against Kansas City, winners of eight straight games. The Twins are 5-for-22 with runners in scoring position. Their streak of winning series has ended at four.

And here comes James Shields, the Royals' marquee move during the offseason - whose 3.09 ERA is 10th best in the American League. His 21 wins in August are the most of any month. He has one of the game's best changeups. He's 5-2 with a 4.09 ERA against the Twins.

Yet two Twins have had success against Shields - Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau.

Mauer is a career .355 hitter against Shields with a double and a triple. He hitting .563 against righthander pitching in his last 11 game.

Morneau is a career .344 hitter with two home runs off of Shields

And, hey, Clete Thomas homered off of Shields the last time he faced him.

These guys need to click for the Twins to avoid the sweep and get a win before the Houston Astros

Brian Dozier returns to the lineup after missing two games with a sore knee and back.

New Royal Justin Maxwell, acquired in a trade on Wednesday, is in the Kansas City lineup. Chris Getz was placed on the DL (sprained knee) to make room for him.

Twins lefthander Scott Diamond hasn't won in six starts since June 20, but held Seattle to one run over 62/3 innings in his last outing. That also was Drew Butera's last start as a Twin.

Royals (53-51)

1. Alex Gordon, LF
2. Eric Hosmer, 1B
3. Billy Butler, DH
4. Salvador Perez, C
5. Lorenzo Cain, CF
6. Miguel Tejada, 2B
7. Mike Moustakas, 3B
8. Justin Maxwell, RF
9. Alcides Escobar, SS

Pitching: James Shields, RHP

Twins (45-59)

1. Brian Dozier, 2B
2. Doug Bernier, SS
3. Joe Mauer, DH
4. Justin Morneau, 1B
5. Ryan Doumit, C
6. Trevor Plouffe, 3B
7. Chris Herrmann, RF
8. Aaron Hicks, CF
9. Clete Thomas, LF

Pitching: Scott Diamond, LHP 


New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Minnesota 70 3rd Qtr 3:19
Philadelphia 74
Houston 60 3rd Qtr
Boston 42
Portland 51 3rd Qtr
Atlanta 50
Sacramento 44 3rd Qtr
Cleveland 55
Toronto 66 3rd Qtr
Brooklyn 54
Dallas 13 2nd Qtr
Miami 15
LA Clippers 29 2nd Qtr 10:17
New Orleans 30
Golden State 8:00 PM
Chicago 9:30 PM
Pittsburgh 0 3rd Prd
New Jersey 0
St. Louis 2 3rd Prd
Carolina 2
Nashville 8:00 PM
Buffalo 9:00 PM
Chicago 9:00 PM
Harvard 75 FINAL
Princeton 72
Quinnipiac 41 2nd Half 6:35
Canisius 49
Brown 49 2nd Half 0:31
Cornell 55
Siena 67 2nd Half 7:41
Manhattan 71
Marist 52 2nd Half 4:38
Niagara 52
Dartmouth 39 2nd Half 6:19
Penn 47
Oregon 28 1st Half 3:57
Arizona State 20
Yale 28 1st Half 3:09
Columbia 28
Monmouth 22 1st Half 3:30
Fairfield 20
IUPUI 22 1st Half 3:24
Western Ill 21
Oregon State 9:00 PM
Kent State 9:00 PM
Canisius 75 FINAL
Monmouth 58
Columbia 47 FINAL
Yale 55
Butler 63 2nd Half 1:18
Providence 56
Cornell 60 2nd Half 2:13
Brown 48
Coll of Charleston 47 2nd Half 0:38
Drexel 64
Penn 51 2nd Half 2:47
Dartmouth 34
Elon 40 2nd Half 9:32
James Madison 69
(19) Princeton 79 2nd Half 6:02
Harvard 41
(9) Florida State 66 2nd Half 5:40
Georgia Tech 51
Quinnipiac 78 2nd Half 4:10
Siena 54
Richmond 49 2nd Half 2:41
Rhode Island 48
Loyola-Chicago 47 2nd Half 7:20
Southern Ill 49
Georgetown 11 1st Half 7:55
DePaul 33
Villanova 27 1st Half 5:44
Marquette 23
Wichita State 21 1st Half 4:58
Northern Iowa 7
Xavier 22 1st Half 3:37
Creighton 34
Bradley 21 1st Half 6:42
Illinois State 10
Missouri State 20 1st Half 6:23
Drake 34
Arizona 8:00 PM
(11) Arizona State 8:00 PM
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