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.

A's, Rays to display wealth of young pitching

Posted by: Phil Miller under MLB Updated: September 10, 2013 - 5:18 PM

   If won't be easy for the Twins to hide their jealousy this week. Over the next six days, they'll get a close-up look at two of the best young starting rotations in baseball, players who are getting outs now and are still early in their careers.

    Jarrod Parker is the first example tonight, and he hasn't done much this season except get mentioned in the same sentence as Lefty Grove, perhaps the greatest pitcher in baseball history. Parker hasn't lost a game since May 22, and while the A's haven't always won his starts -- they're 16-12 when he pitches this season, and have blown three leads after he's left the game -- he's now gone 18 straight starts without taking a loss. That streak eclipsed Catfish Hunter's in his last outing, and he's only three away from Grove's club record, set with the Philadelphia Athletics in 1931.

    Tomorrow comes Sonny Gray, the A's first-round pick in 2011 who has posted a 2.61 ERA in his first eight major-league appearances, and on Thursday it's A.J. Griffin, who has won 13 games including his last three in a row.

    Over the weekend, the Rays will use Rookie of the Year candidate Chris Archer, then tough lefties Matt Moore and David Price. Yeah, there's some pitching on display at Target Field this week; the combined statistics of the six starters Minnesota will face totals a 3.46 ERA in nearly 800 innings, with a 57-35 record.

    But the most amazing statistic may be this one: At 28, Price is the old man of this group. None of the other five starting pitchers is older than 25.

    Both visitors need strong performances, too, as they remain locked into some great races for playoff spots. Oakland is two games ahead of Texas in the A.L. West, while Tampa Bay is holding on to the final wildcard spot, a game and a half ahead of Baltimore and Cleveland.

    Of course, the Twins faced Jared Weaver last night and did OK, so maybe this week will be a confidence-builder.

    Chris Parmelee is at first base in a big-league game for the first time since July, and slumping Josh Willingham will bat sixth for the first time since July 27, 2009, when he was with the Nationals. Willingham is batting .153 with two homers in 27 games since returning from knee surgery in August.

    Here are tonight's lineups:



Crisp CF

Donaldson 3B

Lowrie DH

Moss RF

Cespedes LF

Callaspo 2B

Barton 1B

Vogt C

Sogard SS


Parker RHP




Presley CF

Pinto C

Dozier 2B

Arcia RF

Doumit DH

Willingham LF

Plouffe 3B

Parmelee 1B

Florimon SS


Hendriks RHP


Baltimore 2 FINAL
Detroit 15
NY Yankees 5 FINAL
Philadelphia 5
Northeastern 1 FINAL
Boston 2
Miami-Fla 1 FINAL
Miami 7
Pittsburgh 8 FINAL
Toronto 7
San Francisco 4 FINAL
Oakland 9
Cleveland 0 FINAL
Cincinnati 10
Boston College 0 FINAL
Boston 1
Arizona State 0 FINAL
Arizona 4
Boston 79 FINAL
Cleveland 110
LA Lakers 103 FINAL
Charlotte 104
Sacramento 124 FINAL
New York 86
Houston 96 FINAL
Atlanta 104
Utah 93 FINAL
Memphis 82
Washington 92 FINAL
Chicago 97
Milwaukee 95 FINAL
Denver 106
Nashville 1 FINAL
New Jersey 3
Calgary 3 FINAL(OT)
Philadelphia 2
Washington 5 FINAL
Columbus 3
Buffalo 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay 3
Toronto 3 FINAL
Florida 2
Ottawa 2 FINAL(SO)
Minnesota 3
NY Islanders 2 FINAL(OT)
Dallas 3
Anaheim 4 FINAL
Arizona 1
Los Angeles 5 FINAL
Edmonton 2
San Jose 6 FINAL
Vancouver 2
Ole Miss 82 FINAL
Alabama 74
Eastern Mich 67 FINAL
Ball State 60
Kent State 81 FINAL
Bowling Green 80
Ohio 66 FINAL
Buffalo 93
Georgetown 60 FINAL
Butler 54
Toledo 77 FINAL
Central Mich 85
Rhode Island 59 FINAL
Dayton 75
Youngstown St 67 FINAL
Detroit 77
North Carolina 81 FINAL
Georgia Tech 49
Loyola-Maryland 45 FINAL
Holy Cross 62
Iowa 77 FINAL
Indiana 63
Akron 63 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 70
Army 52 FINAL
Navy 56
Maryland 60 FINAL
Rutgers 50
Kennesaw St 54 FINAL
USC Upstate 90
Jacksonville 63 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 81
Lipscomb 76 FINAL
Northern Ky 73
Stetson 67 FINAL
North Florida 81
Wright State 57 FINAL
Ill-Chicago 60
Western Mich 63 FINAL
Northern Ill 65
Nebraska Omaha 80 FINAL
North Dakota 78
Houston Baptist 71 FINAL
Abilene Christian 83
NC State 66 FINAL
Clemson 61
Texas A&M 62 FINAL
Florida 66
Kentucky 72 FINAL
Georgia 64
West Virginia 69 FINAL
Kansas 76
Auburn 61 FINAL
Missouri 63
Michigan 78 FINAL
Northwestern 82
Villanova 76 FINAL
Creighton 72
Longwood 55 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 63
Charleston Southern 39 FINAL
Presbyterian 47
Coastal Carolina 54 FINAL
UNC-Asheville 68
UMass Lowell 60
West Virginia 55 FINAL
Kansas State 59
Texas 79
Fresno State 61 FINAL
Air Force 41
San Jose St 76 FINAL
Boise State 91
Nevada 61 FINAL
Colorado State 68
San Diego State 76
Wyoming 61 FINAL
Utah State 57
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