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.

Postgame: Span to DL, Blackburn update, stingy bullpen

Posted by: Phil Miller under Twins game coverage Updated: June 10, 2011 - 12:06 AM

The Twins placed Denard Span on the seven-day disabled list with a concussion after Thursday's 5-4 victory over the Rangers, and recalled outfielder Rene Tosoni from Class AAA Rochester.

Span is the 12th player from the Opening Day roster who has landed on the DL.

He injured himself with his slide into Royals catcher Bryan Pena last Friday in Kansas City. He tried playing Monday and felt foggy. The team has since determined that he suffered a mild concussion and whiplash.

The Twins aren't sure how long Span will be out, but he's eligible to return next Tuesday against the White Sox. The seven-day concussion DL is something Major League Baseball adopted this year.

* After leaving his previous start with a strained muscle in his lower back, Nick Blackburn said he had no problems as he pitched 7 1/3 innings, holding the Rangers to four runs (two earned) on 10 hits, with one walk and six strikeouts.

It was Blackburn's team-leading seventh quality start.

"Right now, we’re playing great ball," he said. "I don’t think anybody really saw it coming, but more and more injuries are coming on, and I think we’re just finally relaxing, going out there playing baseball. And I think guys are just starting to have more fun. It feels looser around the clubhouse, and it’s a good thing to have."

* The Twins bullpen has now allowed one earned run in its past 19 2/3 innings. The relievers had 1 2/3 scoreless innings Thursday, including two big outs apiece from Chuck James and Jim Hoey.

Phil Dumatrait (knot in his left shoulder) and Matt Capps (right wrist tendinitis) were unavailable to pitch tonight, Manager Ron Gardenhire said, though he didn't think either would be out for long.

Gardenhire needed some other relievers to step up and do the job, and they delivered.

"I think they’re feeling a little bit more confident," Gardenhire said. "And that’s what really matters most."


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