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.

Some similarities between Twins, Mariners

Posted by: Phil Miller under MLB Updated: May 16, 2014 - 3:53 PM

    The Twins open a three-game homestand tonight against a team that bears some resemblance to themselves. The Seattle Mariners have posted four straight losing seasons and are trying to put a couple of hideous offensive years behind them -- even worse than the Twins, believe it or not. Minnesota's offense bottomed out with just 615 runs last season -- but the Mariners scored only 513 in 2010, and 556 the following year.

    The new Mariners are built largely from within, with a few key outsiders sprinkled in. They made an investment in the offense that the Twins have never even considered, spending $240 million over 10 years on Robinson Cano, and they have a couple of pillars to a championship rotation in Felix Hernandez, who will start Sunday, and Hisashi Iwakuma, who the Twins will miss this weekend. The Twins hope to have a similar couple of aces on the mound in a couple of years.

    The Mariners came into the season with considerable hopes that they're about to turn things around, and so far, they've seen some good signs and some bad. The Mariners come into tonight at 20-20, while the Twins are 19-20; Minnesota is 10-10 at home, Seattle 12-10 on the road.

    Tonight's lineups:

MARINERS

 

Jones CF

Saunders RF

Cano 2B

Hart DH

Smoak 1B

Seager 3B

Ackley LF

Zunino C

Miller SS

 

Young RHP

 

TWINS

 

Dozier 2B

Mauer 1B

Plouffe 3B

Parmelee RF

Suzuki C

Kubel LF

Pinto DH

Hicks CF

Escobar SS

 

Gibson RHP

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