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The Twins Beat

La Velle E. Neal III and Phil Miller report on the Twins from wherever they make news

Goodrum homers to help Tigers top his former team

This is a rare opportunity to write about someone with the other team.

Niko Goodrum was a skinny kid when the Twins selected him in the second round in 2010 as a shortstop. They were betting on the future, as they looked as his burly father and hoped that Niko would fill out into a fine athlete.

And that has pretty much happened - expect that Goodrum's offense has been a work in progress ever since he became a professional. And the Twins nearly released him during his Class AA season. But they decided to hold onto him. Goodrum as learned to play several positions along the way. And he has filled out into a solid specimen.

He hit a career high 13 home runs last season at Class AAA Rochester. He also made his major league debut with the Twins, going 1-for-17 late in the season. He left the organization after the season and hooked on with the Tigers. And, because of injuries, he's getting a chance to play.

Heck, on Tuesday, he batted fifth in the lineup. On Wednesday, he was the cleanup hitter.

And on Wednesday, he hit his fifth home run of the season to help the Tigers beat the Twins. He looks more confident at the plate and swings with evil intentions. You end up rooting for someone like Goodrum because it looked like he would never get a chance to play in the majors. But he's taking advantage of the opportunity at age 26.

"Obviously over there, he’s getting a chance to play a lot of positions, play more regularly because of some injures," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "He was always a pretty good fastball hitter. Today we tried to elevate on him a couple times with two strikes and we didn’t quite get it where we needed to and he did some damage."

Twins second baseman Brian Dozier had similar sentiments.

"He looks good out there and hopefully he keeps it going," Dozier said, "just not against us."

Gibson gets the start as Twins look for sweep of Tigers

The Twins and Tigers finish the three-game series at Target Field with first pitch at 12:10 today. Kyle Gibson (1-2, 3.96 ERA) pitching for the Twins against Michael Fulmer (1-3, 4.35).

Some updates from manager Paul Molitor:

Joe Mauer was on the exercise bike on Tuesday as he tries to recover from his whiplash/concussion-like injury.

Miguel Sano will play first base for Class AAA Rochester today in his rehab stint. Interesting, as it will give the Twins some options when he returns to the big club.

Also, Michael Pineda threw off the mound for the first time since his Tommy John surgery last July. The veteran righthander might be able to play for the Twins before the season ends ..

Here are the lineups, with Jake Cave hitting seventh and playing left while Eddie Rosario is the DH for the Twins.

Lance Lynn pitched the Twins to a 6-0 victory last night, and was mildly happy with his effort.

Also, the Twins signed former NL home run leader Chris Carter in an interesting deal ... for a roster that is still in flux.

9:10 PM (FSN)
Minnesota 21-24
Seattle 29-20