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-Athletics: Plouffe out of lineup. Home Run derby guy returns

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: September 20, 2013 - 7:29 PM

Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe is not in the starting lineup tonight after aggravating a wrist injury last night. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire wasn't aware that Plouffe had been nursing a wrist injury but is aware that Plouffe has been swinging a hot bat. ``We like him with a sore wrist,'' Gardenhire joked.

Plouffe said he went through early work and the wrist was fine. He expects to be available off the bench.

Relievers Jared Burton and Casey Fien are available off the bench tonight after a night of rest. Fien was up in the bullpen late in the game and would have entered if the Twins had taken a lead. But it would have been his third appearance in his last four days and the Twins try to protect their pitchers from that.

Liam Hendriks is available out of the bullpen. Twins pitching coach Rick Anderson said Hendriks has looked great in the pen, but the challenge comes when he crosses the white line and climbs on the mound.

Oakland slugger Yoenis Cespedes, who won the Home Run Derby in July, returns to the lineup tonight after taking a cortisone shot in his shoulder.


Twins (65-87)

1. Alex Presley, CF
2. Chris Herrmann, C
3. Brian Dozier, 2B
4. Oswaldo Arcia, RF
5. Josh Willingham, DH
6. Chris Parmelee, 1B
7. Eduardo Escobar, 3B
8. Clete Thomas, LF
9. Pedro Florimon, SS

Pitching: Andrew Albers, LHP

Athletics (90-63)

1. Coco Crisp, CF
2. Josh Donaldson, 3B
3. Jed Lowrie, SS
4. Yoenis Cespedes, DH
5. Derek Norris, C
6. Chris Young, LF
7. Alberto Callaspo, 2B
8. Josh Reddick, RF
9. Daric Barton, 1B

Pitching: Bartolo Colon, RHP

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