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.

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.

Twins-Royals: Thome returns to lineup

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: April 30, 2011 - 6:36 PM

At least there are signs of life today.

Yesterday, reporters entered the visitors clubhouse here and noticed that the television was off, there was no music playing and the room was quiet.

That was before the game.

Then the Twins went out and lost a mistake-prone game to the Royals. Today, the TV's are on and music is playing. And the How much of a difference will it make, who knows?

Today., Jim Thome is back in the starting lineup after recovering from a mild strain of his left oblique.

And the Twins have their best starter on the mound in Brian Duensing. Duensing is 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA. He given up two or fewer runs in three of his four starts.

In his short career, Duensing is 17-5 with a 3.02 ERA.

 UPDATE: Gardenhire was asked before the game if Tsuyoshi Nishioka could be moved to short when he recovers from his broken left fibula. It led to an interesting answer.






Twins (9-16)

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

Pitching: Brian Duensing, LHP

Royals (13-13)

1. Mike Aviles, 3B
2. Melky Cabrera, CF
3. Alex Gordon, LF
4. Bill Butler, 1B
5. Jeff Francoeur, RF
6. Wilson Betemit, DH
7. Alcides Escobar, SS
8. Matt Treanor, C
9. Chris Getz, 2B

Pitching: Sean O'Sullivan, RHP



``Well, just get Nishi well and we will make all the decisions on when and where. We know he can play both sides of the infield. Whatever makes our team better is what we’ll do when nishi comes back.’’

Nishioka at short would allow Gardenhire to leave Michael Cuddyer at second base. Hmmmm.


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