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: Rainless rain delay, Danny's dinger, Astros D, BONUS

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: June 7, 2014 - 12:54 AM


RAINLESS RAIN DELAY:  The game was delayed for 81 minutes because of the threat of rain. Radar showed a batch of storms headed toward Target Field, and that was enough keep starting pitchers Phul Hughes and Dallas Keuchel from warming up.  But the rain never came. The game started at 8:30 p.m. This has happened more in recent years because managers don't want their pitchers to get rained out in the middle of an outing. ``We didn't want to put Hughes out there and they didn't want to put their pitcher out there and all of a sudden it rains 15 minutes into the game and we lose our pitchers for an hour  and a half,'' Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. ``Good decsion to wait. I know it didn't rain, but neither one of us wanted to lose our pitchers.''

SANTANA'S HOME RUN: Security guards retrieved the home run ball Danny Santana hit in the seventh inning, the first of his career. Santana did hit 25 homers in the minors, but just two last season in New Britain. ``I'm no home run hitter,'' Santana said. ``I'm a contact hitter.''

ASTROS DEFENSE: Dexter Fowler robbed Trevor Plouffe of a double in the eighth. Matt Dominguez and Jose Altuve hooked up for a nice double play in the third. Dominguez made a nice diving stop in the second, And Altuve made a nice diving stop of Santana's grounder in the ninth that could have got a rally going. Houston flashed the leather on Friday - except when Dominguez threw the ball to first.

MINOR NOTES: I'm forced to do this but some things can't go unnoticed. Chris Colabello hit a grand slam and Wilkin Ramirez added two home runs as Rochester beat Charlotte 13-4...Eddie Rosario, back at Class AA New Britain,  was 2-for-5 in his Rock Cats debut. But Kennys Vargas was 3-for-4 with a grand slam and 6 RBI as New Britain won 6-3...Fort Myers lost but Adam Brett Walker hit a three-run home run...

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