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.

Valencia out as Twins look to sweep

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: June 19, 2011 - 12:15 PM

I show up Target Field at 9:02 a.m., AND HAVE TO PAY $13 TO PARK????

Are you kidding me? I thought Ramp A was big shakedown in the first place when they hiked prices three hours before the first pitch BUT FOUR? I don't care what else is going on downtown this morning. Charging $13 to park four hours before game time (its $7 if you show up early) is ROBBERY!

Sorry, had to vent.

Third baseman Danny Valencia won't play today because of a sore biceps suffered in the eighth inning Saturday when he spun and threw to first. Matt Tolbert is at third today. Valencia hoped to play on Tuesday at San Francisco.

Joe Mauer is in the lineup as the designated hitter.

Jim Thome (back/quad) is going to play in a couple simulated games this week while rehabbing in Fort Myers, Fla. Kevin Slowey is going to pitch in the simulated game on Wednesday.

Denard Span (concussion) and Jason Kubel (left foot sprain) are still several days away. Justin Morneau (wrist) will have the cast taken off Friday or Saturday. He'll need about a week after that to work out the stiffness and regain strength.

Dr. Neal's guess is that Morneau will be ready July 7 in time for a series at Chicago. Because these injuries seem to take longer than projected. Then again, a projection is similar to a forecast, and we know how those folks do.

The Twins are 142-109 in interleague play, tied for fourth with the Angels for the most wins all-time.

This game is being televised live back to Japan on NHK. It will be 3 a.m. there at gametime. NHK has two announcers in a studio there who will watch the game and announce in Japanese. But another channel will show the FSN feed. So English-speaking baseball fans in Japan will get to hear Dick Bremer and Bert Blyleven.

Padres (30-42)

1. Chris Denorfia, LF
2. Jason Bartlett, SS
3. Chase Headley, 3B
4. Ryan Ludwick, DH
5. Jesus Guzman, 1B
6. Cameron Maybin, CF
7. Orlando Hudson, 2B
8. Will Venable, RF
9. Ron Johnson, C

Pitching: Dustin Moseley, RHP

Twins (30-39)

1. Ben Revere, CF
2. Alexi Casilla, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Michael Cuddyer, RF
5. Delmon Young, LF
6. Luke Hughes, 1B
7. Nishi, SS
8. Rene Rivera, C
9. Matt Tolbert, 3B

Pitching: Francisco Liriano, LHP



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