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.

Three Twins postgame thoughts from LEN3: Scott Baker, Eduardo Nunez, Jerry Layne. BONUS

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: May 28, 2014 - 12:00 AM


SCOTT BAKER NOT BAD: Scott Baker couldn't even take a peek at the Twins dugout while he was on the mound. Too many people he knew over there.
``I made a point not to look in the dugout,'' he said. ``Of course a lot of great memories and there’s still some guys here that I really enjoyed playing with throughout the years. It was fun. Regardless of the results, I was going to make the most of it. I appreciate the time I had here and tried to give them something to worry about.''
He focused on the 60 feet, 6 inches in front of him. And besides a home run by Oswaldo Arcia and a couple doubles, Baker looked like his old self.
Baker spent seven seasons with the Twins, going 63-48 with a 4.15 ERA.  It's been a tough road back for Baker, 32, who has had trouble getting his career on track since having Tommy John surgery in April of 2012. He signed with the Cubs while he recovered and made three starts late in the 2013 season. He signed a minor league deal with Seattle but was cut on March 25. He signed with Texas three days later and was sent to Class AAA Round Rock, where he was 4-1 with a 3.32 ERA. This is his second stint with Texas this season - and there were rumblings that he could be designated for assignment on Wednesday to clear a roster spot for Joe Saunders, who is coming off the disabled list to start against the Twins.
Baker had just been out on the field Tuesday, chatting with Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, when the Rangers decided to start him.
``The ball jumped out of his hand pretty good And we're pretty proud of that guy. He came from this organization and is one of our guys and he is still hanging in there. He's had some pretty big surgeries and  he's still hanging in there and he pitched well against us tonight. You look at the guys across the way that played here. Somewhere inside you root for them and I root for that kid.

NUNEZ MADE PLAYS WITH HIS LEGS: Good job by Eduardo Nunez on Tuesday. Some were surprised he was tabbed to pinch hit for Chris Parmelee in the seventh inning on Tuesday because a righthander was on the mound. But Nunez is batting .311 against righties and has numbers against Alexi Ogando. It didn't work out then but it sure worked out later as he drove in Oswaldo Arcia with a single and went to second on the throw. It was important for him to go to second to try and draw a throw. He did, and he as safe. And it ensured that the run scored. ``The guy on second base, he is slow....not fast,'' Nunez said of Arcia. ``If it is  Brian Dozier, I stay. It's a different situation. Then Nunez took off for third when Kurt Suzuki hit a grounder there. He wanted to be in position to round third and head for home if something goes wrong when Beltre throws to first. We all saw what happened then. Good baserunning by Nunez, who is proving to be a pretty good bench player.

BASELINE PLAY: Nunez didn't run out of the baseline to avoid a tag. He ran around Beltre to not interfere with him fielding the ball. Here's crew chief Jerry Layne's explanation: ``"That's the key, to avoid being tagged," Layne said. "(Nunez) has to yield (Beltre) a chance to field the ball. (Nunez) goes around (Beltre) in an attempt to allow him to field the ball. There was never an attempt to make a tag. If (Beltre) would have stuck his glove out to try to make an attempt, we have a different play.

"Ninety-nine percent of the time, they attempt to make a tag. He never made an attempt."

BONUS -  EDDIE ROSARIO: His suspension just about over, Eddie Rosario is getting to get his minor league season underway. Rosario, one of the Twins best hitting prospects, is set to report to Class A Fort Myers on Thursday. It will be his first action of the season after he served a 50-game suspension for testing positive for marijuana during the Arizona Fall League. Rosario has spent the last several weeks working out at the Twins' year-round facility in Fort Myers, and recently began playing in extended spring training games. He was scheduled to open the season at Class AA New Britain before the failed drug test. Now he will play with the Miracle until the Twins determine that he's ready to join the Rock Cats. He will play both second base and the outfield.

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Minnesota 17 3rd Qtr 4:55
Miami 14
Baltimore 7 3rd Qtr 11:10
Houston 16
Detroit 10 3rd Qtr 2:45
Chicago 14
Cleveland 6 3rd Qtr 3:14
Carolina 10
Atlanta 20 3rd Qtr 1:44
New Orleans 7
Green Bay 10 4th Qtr 12:00
Tampa Bay 3
Kansas City 6 3rd Qtr 1:55
Pittsburgh 10
New England 10 3rd Qtr 0:06
NY Jets 13
NY Giants 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 3:25 PM
Oakland
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Dallas
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Arizona
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Cincinnati
New York 2:30 PM
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Memphis 3:30 PM
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Miami
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Edmonton
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Boston
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NY Rangers
Toronto 6:00 PM
Chicago
Philadelphia 8:00 PM
Winnipeg
Harvard 27 FINAL
Virginia 76
Maine 64 1st OT 3:05
Army 62
Ferris State 82 FINAL
Bowling Green 68
San Francisco 63 1st OT 2:45
Cleveland State 64
Oregon State 52 FINAL
Quinnipiac 60
Coastal Carolina 64 2nd Half 3:00
Central Arkansas 45
Holy Cross 23 2nd Half 16:56
Canisius 26
Southern Miss 33 2nd Half 14:16
Georgia State 42
Western Carolina 28 2nd Half 18:51
UNC-Asheville 38
Creighton 21 2nd Half 18:30
North Texas 37
Maryland 45 2nd Half 17:03
Oklahoma State 30
Cornell 38 2nd Half 19:17
Radford 34
Vermont 28 2nd Half 16:46
Saint Louis 29
Loyola-Maryland 35 2nd Half 16:55
Stony Brook 32
Reinhardt 32 2nd Half 20:00
Winthrop 44
Ark-Little Rock 31 2nd Half 15:03
Green Bay 43
TX-Pan American 35 2nd Half 18:03
Nebraska Omaha 45
Alabama State 49 2nd Half
Evansville 47
FIU 31 2nd Half
Hartford 42
Goshen 22 1st Half 3:50
Valparaiso 31
Bryant 0 1st Half 20:00
Denver 0
Austin Peay 2 1st Half 17:02
Lipscomb 3
Tennessee St 2:00 PM
Middle Tennessee
South Dakota 4 1st Half 18:10
Montana 4
ULM 2:00 PM
Samford
Coker 2:30 PM
South Carolina
USC 3:00 PM
Boston College
Northern Ariz 3:00 PM
Hampton
SD Christian 3:00 PM
San Diego
UC Irvine 3:30 PM
Bradley
Troy 3:30 PM
Nicholls
Seton Hall 5:00 PM
Georgia
Appalachian St 5:30 PM
Alabama
North Dakota St 6:00 PM
Kent State
San Jose St 6:00 PM
Washington St
Alcorn State 8:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Sacramento St 9:00 PM
Seattle
Nevada 3 FINAL
Louisiana 16
Utah State 21 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 6
(23) Utah 45 FINAL
Colorado State 10
Western Mich 24 FINAL
Air Force 38
South Alabama 28 FINAL
Bowling Green 33
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
UCF
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 3:00 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Cal-Irvine 55 FINAL
Denver 63
St Marys-CA 52 FINAL
George Washington 70
TX-San Antonio 49 FINAL
Nicholls 57
Portland State 71 FINAL
Columbia 66
Tenn Tech 62 FINAL
Morgan State 56
SMU 43 FINAL
Auburn 56
Quinnipiac 70 FINAL
Hartford 58
Hofstra 75 FINAL
Boston College 61
Eastern Washington 55 FINAL
Georgia Southern 42
Liberty 44 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 84
Fairleigh Dickinson 74 FINAL
Brown 79
Buffalo 73 FINAL
Long Island 79
Bucknell 74 FINAL
Mount St Marys 49
Stony Brook 70 FINAL
Wagner 76
FIU 83 FINAL
Wofford 75
Maine 54 FINAL
William & Mary 51
Alabama State 43 FINAL
Samford 56
TX-Pan American 43 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 64
South Dakota St 64 FINAL
Marist 82
Saint Josephs 50 FINAL
(5) Notre Dame 64
Radford 60 FINAL
Virginia Tech 73
Duquesne 54 2nd Half 0:55
Providence 63
(3) Texas 48 2nd Half 9:54
(4) Texas A&M 53
Rhode Island 56 2nd Half 2:02
Bryant 51
South Florida 37 2nd Half
Penn State 34
Sam Houston St 28 2nd Half 16:01
TCU 48
Evansville 21 2nd Half 20:00
IUPUI 28
(14) Maryland 59 2nd Half 20:00
Coppin State 25
Mercer 34 2nd Half 16:2`
Coll of Charleston 47
NC A&T 17 2nd Half
Chattanooga 32
Princeton 48 2nd Half 18:16
Monmouth 24
Eastern Illinois 54 2nd Half 13:21
Lehigh 50
Rider 36 2nd Half 16:19
Binghamton 34
SC State 16 2nd Half 20:00
Clemson 29
Fairfield 35 2nd Half 17:56
Iowa State 44
Richmond 54 2nd Half 13:56
Eastern Kentucky 30
Cleveland State 44 2nd Half 13:57
Morehead St 51
Kent State 31 2nd Half 17:55
Colgate 29
South Alabama 21 2nd Half 12:18
UAB 54
Saint Peters 16 2nd Half 20:00
Navy 39
Youngstown St 28 2nd Half 13:48
Pittsburgh 46
NJIT 28 2nd Half
Lafayette 34
Davidson 14 2nd Half
Charlotte 44
Indiana State 19 1st Half 8:06
St Johns 17
Southern U 11 1st Half 6:01
Florida 29
Wright State 14 1st Half 2:47
Purdue 28
Northern Ariz 2:00 PM
New Mexico
Elon 2:00 PM
(6) North Carolina
Chicago State 2:00 PM
Milwaukee
Bowling Green 2:00 PM
Bradley
Ill-Springfield 2:00 PM
SE Missouri St
Northern Ill 2:00 PM
Northern Iowa
(19) Oklahoma St 2 1st Half 17:23
USC 5
Houston 4 1st Half 14:57
Texas Tech 5
Ark-Little Rock 2 1st Half 17:49
Tulsa 3
Dayton 0 1st Half 20:00
Vanderbilt 0
UNC-Asheville 0 1st Half 19:04
USC Upstate 2
North Dakota 0 1st Half 20:00
South Dakota 0
Western Ill 0 1st Half 20:00
Marquette 0
Ball State 3 1st Half 18:53
Western Ky 2
(8) Kentucky 2 1st Half 15:59
(13) Duke 10
New Orleans 0 1st Half 17:55
Alabama 6
(23) Iowa 2:05 PM
Drake
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Western Carolina 2:30 PM
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Portland 3:00 PM
Boise State
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(18) Michigan State 3:00 PM
(19) Syracuse
Northwestern 3:30 PM
Arizona State
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Oregon
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Coastal Carolina
UNLV 4:00 PM
CS-Bakersfield
UCLA 4:00 PM
(2) Connecticut
(10) Louisville 4:00 PM
(24) California
Howard 5:00 PM
Virginia
Miami-Ohio 6:00 PM
(21) Miss State
Illinois-Chicago 8:30 PM
Old Dominion
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