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.

Span, Plouffe batting 1, 2 tonight

Posted by: Phil Miller under Twins game coverage Updated: August 2, 2011 - 6:50 PM

ANAHEIM, CALIF. -- Denard Span is back atop the Twins lineup, and Trevor Plouffe is batting second, as they prepare to face Ervin Santana in his first start since last Wednesday's no-hitter in Cleveland.

Manager Ron Gardenhire talked about how challenging it is for middle infielders playing the Angels, who like to bunt, hit and run, and all that stuff. So this will be a challenge for Plouffe at second base. He was pretty good there Friday night in Oakland but left the Twins shaking their heads on Saturday.

Considering the defensive challenges, Gardy could have used Matt Tolbert.

"We need some offense," Gardenhire said. "Plouffey’s a hitter. ... He grew up here [in Southern California]. This is his home. He played a high school state championship [at Angel Stadium in 2003] that I think he pitched in. So there's some incentive, a little motivation, let's put him in the field and see what happens."

* Justin Morneau has been hitting in the cage but hasn't been able to do much on the field with all the rain at Target Field. Gardy said the hope is that Morneau will be able to get a full workout on the field Wednesday and then the team will decide whether to send him out to start playing in some games.

* Angels manager Mike Scioscia will be serving a one-game suspension tonight stemming from Sunday's game in Detroit. Jered Weaver was handed a six-game suspension for throwing near the head of Alex Avila in that game, but Weaver is appealing.

TWINS (50-58)

1. Denard Span, CF
2. Trevor Plouffe, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Michael Cuddyer, 1B
5. Jason Kubel, RF
6. Jim Thome, DH
7. Danny Valencia, 3B
8. Delmon Young, LF
9. Tsuyoshi Nishioka, SS

Starting pitcher: LH Brian Duensing (8-8, 4.35 ERA)

ANGELS (59-50)

1. Cesar Izturis, 3B
2. Bobby Abreu, DH
3. Torii Hunter, RF
4. Vernon Wells, LF
5. Howie Kendrick, 2B
6. Mark Trumbo, 1B
7. Erick Aybar, SS
8. Peter Bourjos, CF
9. Bobby Wilson, C

Starting pitcher: RH Ervin Santana (6-8, 3.47 ERA)

Angel Stadium. First pitch: 9:05 p.m. (Central). TV: FSN. Twins Radio Network

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