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.

Kubel likely returning Friday

Posted by: Phil Miller under Twins game coverage Updated: July 21, 2011 - 5:49 PM

It sounds like Jason Kubel will be activated from the disabled list on Friday.

Kubel, who has been out with a sprained foot, went 1-for-3 with a walk today for Class AAA Rochester after going 3-for-5 with a home run on Wednesday. He has a flight to Minnesota tonight.

Update: Manager Ron Gardenhire confirmed this in his pregame media session. The Twins plan to option a pitcher to Rochester after tonight's game to make room for Kubel on the roster.

Span update

Denard Span went 0-for-3 for Rochester today, leaving him 1-for-12 four games into his rehab from a concussion. Span played seven innings in center field. He'll have to play nine innings several days in a row before being activated.

Manager's health

Gardenhire was in left field during early batting practice, a sign he was feeling better after battling upper respiratory issues. He visited a lung specialist on Wednesday and was given some more medication.

He has a viral infection and a sinus infection. Obviously, more rest might help.

"I don’t know how much more you can rest than sitting up in my office with my feet up anyway," he said. "I’m not doing a lot out here right now; I’m just coming to the ballpark.

"Yes, Mr. [Jim] Pohlad said, 'Just stay home.' But I have a hard time doing that.

"It’s just the moments that you run into spasms that you feel sick. It’s not every second of the day. I’d rather be around here. I can write the lineups out, I can do this and the other thing, and we’ll see how it goes during the game."

Quick fact: The Tigers have won nine straight against the Twins, dating to last Sept. 2.

By the way, Rochester lost 18-3 today, as utility infielder Toby Gardenhire pitched a scoreless inning.

TIGERS (51-46)

1. Austin Jackson, CF
2. Brennan Boesch, LF
3. Magglio Ordonez, RF
4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
5. Victor Martinez, DH
6. Jhonny Peralta, SS
7. Carlos Guillen, 2B
8. Alex Avila, C
9. Wilson Betemit, 3B

Starting pitcher: RH Justin Verlander (12-5, 2.29 ERA)

TWINS (46-51)

1. Ben Revere, CF
2. Alexi Casilla, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, 1B
4. Michael Cuddyer, RF
5. Jim Thome, DH
6. Danny Valencia, 3B
7. Delmon Young, LF
8. Tsuyoshi Nishioka, SS
9. Drew Butera, C

Starting pitcher: RH Carl Pavano (6-6, 4.08 ERA)

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

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