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.

Baker looks to stop Twins latest losing skid

Posted by: Phil Miller under Twins game coverage Updated: May 11, 2011 - 10:47 AM

The Tigers are 7-1 in their past eight games. The Twins have lost four in a row in their latest skid.

Enter Scott Baker.

Baker has been the Twins best starting pitcher of late, going 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA in his past four starts. That stretch includes 25 strikeouts and four walks in 28 1/3 innings, and all four starts have come on the road -- at Tampa Bay, at Baltimore, at Kansas City and at Boston.

Baker’s only start at home this season was a 5-3 loss to Oakland on April 10. The Tigers counter with lefthander Phil Coke, a converted reliever.

Weather could complicate things again today.

Quick fact: Coke has held lefthanders to a .205 batting average this year, but righties are batting .293 against him.

Update: Manager Ron Gardenhire indicated the Twins will wait until Friday to decide whether to place SS Trevor Plouffe on the DL. Plouffe has made progress and there's hope he'll be able to run on Thursday.

The Twins need to make room on the roster for Delmon Young to come off the DL on Friday, so if Plouffe's not ready, he could go on the DL that day. Otherwise, the Twins would send down "one of the kids," Gardenhire said.

Young is scheduled to play six innings in left field in an extended spring training game today.

TIGERS (19-18)

1. Austin Jackson, CF
2. Scott Sizemore, 2B
3. Brennan Boesch, RF
4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
5. Victor Martinez, DH
6. Ryan Raburn, LF
7. Alex Avila, C
8. Ramon Santiago, SS
9. Brandon Inge, 3B

Starting pitcher: LH Phil Coke (1-5, 4.75 ERA)

TWINS (12-22)

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

Starting pitcher: RH Scott Baker (2-2, 2.97 ERA)

Target Field. First pitch: 12:10 p.m. TV: FSN. Twins Radio Network


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