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 look lousy in loss 11-5 to O's but these games don't count, right?

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: March 6, 2014 - 10:33 AM

Yuck. This was a sloppy game, as Baltimore had two, five-run innings as they smoked the Twins 11-5 Hammond Stadium. Mike Pelfrey got them off on the wrong foot by leaving several pitches over the plate that were feasted on by Orioles hitters. ``I definitely need to be better,'' he said.

Defense let the Twins down as well. Jorge Polanco and Eduardo Escobar didn't turn a couple double play opportunities in the sixth, with Polanco committing a throwing error on the first missed opportunity. That led to four unearned runs off of Scott Diamond - but the O's were making solid contact off of him.

Kurt Suzuki was hit on the right instep with a pitch in the fourth inning. He fell over when he was hit but went to first base after trainer Tony Leo checked on him. Suzuki was pulled after the inning, but Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said it was scheduled. ``He's fine,'' Gardy said. ``He was ticked off about the pitching.'' Suzuki is scheduled to play tomorrow.

Other observations:

Alex Presley came through with a sharp opposite field single to drive in the Twins' third run of the game. The Twins need a leadoff hitter and have been talking to Presley about handling that role. He's battling Aaron Hicks for the center field job.

Chris Parmelee was 1-for-2 with sharp single to right. ``He's got a different look in his eyes right now,'' Gardenhire said. ``He's not worried about anything, just going out and playing. He knows what's at stake with him.''

James Beresford has soft hands in the field and could be called up during the season. I'm wondering how much he can/will hit.

Of the three starters who are out of options, I would rank them: 1. Worley. 2. Deduno. 3. Diamond at this time. Worley is keeping the ball down better and is showing some Vanimal-like tendencies that didn't exist last year when his ERA was 7-something.

Saw Suzuki, Mauer, Dozier on the list to play tomorrow. No Byron Buxton.

Jason Bartlett is now 0-for-10. I'm not surprised because of the layoff. He needs a hit, however, so he can remember what the feeling was like.

What would this team look like if they had actually won the battles for Garza and Pierzynski and also had Santana on the back burner?


Team Irvin 7:15 PM
Team Carter
Miami 96 FINAL
Chicago 84
Oklahoma City 98 FINAL
Cleveland 108
Dallas 61 3rd Qtr 10:35
New Orleans 65
Indiana 53 3rd Qtr 10:37
Orlando 51
LA Clippers 61 3rd Qtr 8:23
Phoenix 62
Minnesota 53 3rd Qtr 9:41
Atlanta 63
Detroit 18 1st Qtr 2:24
Toronto 20
Milwaukee 24 1st Qtr 2:14
San Antonio 17
Boston 7:00 PM
Golden State
Washington 7:00 PM
Houston 8:30 PM
LA Lakers
Team Toews 12 3rd Prd 15:18
Team Foligno 9
South Florida 53 FINAL
Connecticut 66
Boston College 64 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Virginia 50 FINAL
Virginia Tech 47
Indiana 70 FINAL
Ohio State 82
Stony Brook 61 FINAL
Binghamton 54
Cincinnati 56 FINAL
UCF 46
Maine 70 FINAL
Hartford 61
Monmouth 64 FINAL
Manhattan 71
Fairfield 67 FINAL
Marist 73
Rowan 48 FINAL
Princeton 96
St Bonaventure 48 FINAL
Rhode Island 53
Duke 77 FINAL
St Johns 68
Saint Peters 69 FINAL
Siena 55
Drake 40 FINAL
Wichita State 74
Vermont 61 FINAL
UMass Lowell 50
Seton Hall 57 FINAL
Butler 77
South Alabama 55
Northern Iowa 54 FINAL
Illinois State 53
Louisville 80 FINAL
Pittsburgh 68
Albany 69
Niagara 64 FINAL
Iona 87
Notre Dame 30 2nd Half
NC State 42
Belmont 27 1st Half 0:15
Tennessee St 30
Creighton 6 1st Half 8:08
Villanova 17
Northwestern 6:30 PM
Washington 7:30 PM
Senior-North 34 FINAL
Senior-South 13
Seton Hall 99 FINAL
Georgetown 85
St Johns 69 FINAL
Villanova 81
Arkansas 58 FINAL
Florida 72
Maine 56 FINAL
Vanderbilt 55 FINAL
Alabama 52
Lafayette 60 FINAL
Lehigh 65
SMU 57
Utah 51 FINAL
Washington 63
James Madison 73 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 53
Delaware 56 FINAL
Drexel 61
Hofstra 56 FINAL
William & Mary 57
Hartford 58 FINAL
Albany 82
Binghamton 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 67
Towson 63 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 71
Wake Forest 80 FINAL
(17) Florida State 110
Georgia Tech 68 FINAL
Virginia 62
(22) Georgia 51 FINAL
(5) Tennessee 59
Drake 79 FINAL
Evansville 62
Iona 80 FINAL
Canisius 62
Fairfield 33 FINAL
Monmouth 59
Northwestern 75 FINAL
Penn State 76
Wisconsin 71 FINAL
Michigan State 77
Ohio State 79 FINAL
Purdue 71
Northern Iowa 57 FINAL
Indiana State 55
Butler 58 FINAL
Xavier 54
Creighton 93 FINAL
Marquette 75
Providence 42 FINAL
DePaul 90
Northeastern 77 FINAL
Elon 80
(2) Connecticut 96 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Oregon 78 FINAL
Arizona 81
Bradley 46 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 45
NC State 49 FINAL
(23) Syracuse 66
(7) Maryland 84 FINAL
Indiana 74
Illinois State 35 FINAL
Missouri State 58
Colorado 68 FINAL
Washington St 73
Tulane 45 FINAL
South Florida 64
(14) Kentucky 83 FINAL
Missouri 69
(9) Oregon State 68 FINAL
(13) Arizona State 57
Vermont 63 FINAL
UMass Lowell 72
Iowa State 58 FINAL
(8) Texas 57
Southern Ill 61 FINAL
Wichita State 80
(15) Duke 74 FINAL
(12) North Carolina 67
Miami-Florida 55 FINAL
(4) Louisville 68
(21) Minnesota 61 FINAL
(25) Rutgers 66
California 49 2nd Half 11:32
(11) Stanford 7:00 PM
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