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.

Gardenhire misses game to attend funeral

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: April 11, 2014 - 5:10 PM


Twins manager Ron Gardenhire has left team to travel to the Akron, Ohio area to attend the funeral of Mike Hirschbeck, the son of MLB umpire John Hirschbeck.

Terry Steinbach will manage the team Friday and will do so again on Saturday in Gardenhire's absence.

Mike Hirschbeck's association with the Twins goes back more than 20 years. Diagnosed with a rare brain disease - adrenoleukodystrophy, or ALD - he underwent a bone-marrow transplant in at the University of Minnesota Hospitals in 1992. Then manager Tom Kelly visited him in the hospital at the time. Mike also got to know Gardenhire and the rest of the coaching staff.

His father is one of more well-liked umpires in the league. Based in Sarasota during spring training, Mike Hirschbeck would come over to Ed Smith Stadium and be the Twins' batboy when they came to town to play the Reds, before they moved to Arizona, and later the Orioles. Mike last was the Twins' batboy in 2013.

The Twins are sending flowers to the funeral and the coaching staff is making a donation to the Hirschbeck's foundation.

Jason Bartlett, recovering from a left ankle sprain, ran the bases before the game and said everything went, "Great!" The Twins now must determine when to send him out on a minor league rehab assignment. Once he goes, Bartlett is expected to get plently of at bats.

Josh Willingham is still day-to-day with a bruised left wrist, but Steinbach said if he still can't play in the next few days the club will have to consider a DL stint for him.

The Twins will try to snap a three-game losing streak tonight, as well as a nine-game skid at home, going back to last season.

The two leading hitters in the league are in the park tonight, Kansas City's Sal Perez (.458) and the Twins' Jason Kubel (.448).

Brian Dozier enters the game tied for the AL lead with nine runs.

Mike Pelfrey is one of three AL pitchers to have given up a league-high four home runs.

Royals (4-4)

Norichika Aoki, RF
Omar Infante, 2B
Eric Hosmer, 1B
Billy Butler, DH
Alex Gordon, LF
Salvador Perez, C
Mike Moustakas, 3B
Lorenzo Cain, CF
Alcides Escobar, SS

Pitching: Brue Chen, LHP

Twins (3-6)

Brian Dozier, 2B
Joe Mauer, 1B
Trevor Plouffe, 3B
Chris Colabello, RF
Jason Kubel, LF
Josmil Pinto, LF
Kurt Suzuki, C
Aaron Hicks, CF
Pedro Florimon, SS

Kyle Gibson, RHP

Final123456789RHE
Detroit2200000004110
Minnesota «30000302X8130
@Ballpark Replay
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
W:K.Gibson(12-11) L:D.Price(14-12)
HR: DET- None MIN- None

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Texas - WP: N. Martinez 7 FINAL
Oakland - LP: S. Gray 2
Boston - LP: B. Workman 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: G. Cole 3
Toronto - LP: A. Sanchez 2 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: D. Robertson 3
Washington - WP: G. Gonzalez 6 FINAL
Miami - LP: B. Hand 2
Los Angeles - WP: P. Rodriguez 8 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: N. Ramirez 4
Cleveland 2 Bottom 13th Inning
Houston 1
Milwaukee 2 Bottom 13th Inning
St. Louis 2
Arizona - LP: A. Reed 6 FINAL
Colorado - WP: L. Hawkins 7
Philadelphia - LP: K. Kendrick 3 FINAL
San Diego - WP: R. Erlin 7
Seattle 0 Bottom 8th Inning
LA Angels 0
Tampa Bay 14 FINAL
Atlanta 56
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
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Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
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Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
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Jacksonville
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New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
(5) Auburn 20 FINAL
(20) Kansas State 14
Connecticut 9/19/14 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Toronto 9/19/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
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