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.

Twins-Yankees: Tanaka time

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: May 31, 2014 - 10:26 AM

The Twins faced Masahiro Tanaka during spring training, but that was no indication of what they should expect today. Tanaka has become the ace of the Yankees rotation, a true force up front who can be unhittable at times. He has pitched at least 61/3 innings in every outing this season and has not given up more than three earned runs in a start. Yes, that means he's 10-for-10 in quality starts. He's one of two pitchers EVER to do that in his first 10 major league games.

``He's a competitive guy,'' Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. ``You know you are going to have your hands full. If he misses with a pitch, we've got to hit it.''

Danny Santana is not available today after taking seven stitches in his right upper eyelid on Friday. His eye is a little swollen, and trainers told Gardenhire no-go with Santana.

Josmil Pinto is in the lineup, which is a good thing. But righthanders are batting .215 against Tanaka.

One thing from last night: Oswaldo Arcia made two good throws home. One in the fifth started a rundown in which Brett Gardner was eventually tagged out. The other nailed Brian Roberts at home plate in the sixth. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said the throws were pivotal points in the game. Gardenhire said Arcia has a strong accurate arm, especially when he collects himself before he releases the ball. On both throws, Arcia took a quick moment before throwing home.

Twins (25-27)

Brian Dozier, 2B
Eduardo Escobar, SS
Joe Mauer, DH
Josh Willingham, LF
Oswaldo Arcia, RF
Trevor Plouffe, 3B
Chris Parmelee, 1B
Josmil Pinto, C
Aaron Hicks, CF

Kevin Correia, RHP

Yankees (28-25)

Brett Gardner, LF
Derek Jeter, DH
jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Brian McCann, C
Alfonso Soriano, RF
Yangervis Solarte, 2B
Kelly Johnson, 3B
Brendan Ryan, SS

Masahiro Tanaka, RHP

Final123456789RHE
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Minnesota «16200030X12141
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