Phil Miller covered three seasons of Twins baseball, but that was at a different ballpark for a different newspaper. Now Miller returns to the baseball beat after joining the Star Tribune as the Gopher football writer in 2010, and he won't miss the dingy dome for a minute. In addition to the Twins and Gophers, Miller covered the Utah Jazz and the NBA for six years at The Salt Lake Tribune.

Game 2: Twins try to avoid a sweep against Rays

Posted by: Phil Miller under Twins game coverage Updated: April 28, 2011 - 4:55 PM

The Twins will be trying to avoid a three-game series sweep tonight, in Game 2 of this doubleheader against the Rays.

After losing 15-3 in Game 1, Michael Cuddyer said, "We just don’t have that fire right now."

How do they fix that?

"Wish I had the answer," Cuddyer said. "Gotta go back out there and play hard, play aggressive. I think that’s the only answer. If you make a mistake, it’s not a big deal, as long as we’re playing aggressive.

"Cheer for each other -- that's a big thing, too. One thing this team’s always done is we've really cheered for each other, and I don’t see that right now."


Manager Ron Gardenhire said he used Matt Capps in the ninth inning of the 15-3 Game 1 loss because Capps is available to pitch in both games. Joe Nathan is available to pitch in only one game today.

In fact, for Game 2, the Twins will have three relievers available behind Anthony Swarzak: Glen Perkins, Nathan and Capps.

Gardy noted that Perkins needs to be saved for a long-relief role and hinted that another roster move could be coming to add another long man after Game 2. Team could be ready to activate Kevin Slowey from the DL.

Quick fact: Ben Zobrist has as many RBI in the past two games (11) as any of the Twins have all season. Danny Valencia leads the team with 11.

RAYS (13-11)

1. Sam Fuld, LF
2. Johnny Damon, DH
3. B.J. Upton, CF
4. Matt Joyce, RF
5. Ben Zobrist, 2B
6. Casey Kotchman, 1B
7. Sean Rodriguez, 3B
8. John Jaso, C
9. Elliot Johnson, SS

Starting pitcher: RH Jeff Niemann (0-3, 7.08 ERA)

TWINS (9-14)

1. Denard Span, CF
2. Matt Tolbert, SS
3. Jason Kubel, DH
4. Justin Morneau, 1B
5. Michael Cuddyer, RF
6. Rene Tosoni, LF
7. Danny Valencia, 3B
8. Drew Butera, C
9. Luke Hughes, 2B

Starting pitcher: Anthony Swarzak (2011 MLB debut)

Target Field. First pitch: 7:10 p.m. TV: FSN. Twins Radio Network


more twins blogs


Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters