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-Pirates postgame: Hughes, Valencia, Neshek, Young

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: March 2, 2011 - 3:29 PM

 The Twins beat Pittsburgh 4-2 on Wednesday as Luke Hughes homered and Danny Valencia was 2-for-3 with two doubles and two RBI.

Twins lefthander Brian Duensing threw two shutout innings, giving up two hits while walking one and striking out two.

Other stuff from Wednesday:

Righthander Pat Neshek pitched a 1-2-3 fourth inning. He got switch-hitter Neil Walker to ground out to first. And Lyle Overbay to tap out in front of home plate.

Neshek fell behind Steve Pearce 3-0 but rallied to strike him out swinging. A good outing for Neshek, who needs a few of them. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire wouldn't say much about Neshek after the game.

Gardenhire was serious about Brian Duensing being in the rotation. So serious that he said he wants Glen Perkins or one of the other lefties in camp to step up and claim Duensing's old spot in the bullpen. Dusty Hughes and Scott Diamond pitched scoreless innings on Wednesday, which Phil Dumatrait giving up one run on two hits.

Valencia had a strong game on Wednesday.  He doubled over the left fielder's head in the first to drive in the first run of the game. He doubled to the left-center gap in the third to drive in another run. And he dived to his right in the bottom of the inning to get Andrew McCutchen's hot grounder and throw him out at first.

Delmon Young, slowed by a left turf toe, has resumed running activities. Gardy hopes to start him on Saturday against the Rays in Port Charlotte.

Watch Luke Hughes. Gardy said he's been very impressed with him so far in camp.

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