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.

Duensing leaves game in second inning due to a right oblique strain

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: September 3, 2011 - 9:45 PM

BREAKING NEWS: Twins lefthander Brian Duensing has left tonight's game in the second inning with an injury. He had just thrown a pitch to Peter Bourjos when he stepped back off the pitching rubber. Catcher Rene Rivera  jogged to the mound, followed by manager Ron Gardenhire and trainer Dave Preumer.

We have not been told why Duensing was removed. We'll update here once we get an update.

Duensing gave up a grand slam to rookie Mark Trumbo in the first inning, but the Twins fought back with three runs in the second. Lester Oliveros is in the game for the Twins....and just gave up a RBI single to Twins-killer Alberto Callaspo to give the Angels a 5-3 lead.

UPDATE: Duensing has a right oblique strain.


As I pointed out in last night's recap, Brian Duensing needs to improve  his numbers against righthanded hitters. They are hitting .301 off  of him in his career, .333 this year. In his last start on Sunday against Cleveland, eight of 15 righthanded hitters reached base off of him. Duensing has to mix his pitches and pitch inside effectively to set up the outside corner. 

Duensing needs a strong finish this season to remain in the picture for a rotation sport next season. 

In other news, Joe Mauer is not at the park because of a upper respiratory infe........a cold. Twins trainer Rick McWane further described it as- and I'm not lying - general congestion. Mauer also has fluid in his ear.

Jason Repko has an upset stomach and has been revisiting recent meals. But he's at the ballpark just in case he's needed.

Francisco Liriano is here to have his shoulder examined by specialist Dr. Lewis Yocum.

Scott Baker (elbow) threw in the bullpen today with no problems.

Denard Span (migraine symptoms reported to Target Field today for some workouts.

Justin Morneau (mild concussion symptoms), hit in the cage, worked out and rode the bike. He's also had another concussion test, which revealed that his condition is improving. He's making progress but isn't ready to return.

Twins (58-79)

1. Ben Revere, CF
2. Trevor Plouffe, 2B
3. Jason Kubel, DH
4. Michael Cuddyer, RF
5. Danny Valencia, 3B
6. Rene Tosoni, LF
7. Luke Hughes, 1B
8. Tsuyoshi Nishioka,SS
9. Rene Rivera, C

Brian Duensing, LHP, 9-13, 5.09

Angels (74-64)

1. Peter Bourjos, CF
2. Alberto Callaspo, 3B
3. Howie Kendrick, 2B
4. Torii Hunter, DH
5. Mark Trumbo, 1B
6. Vernon Wells, LF
7. Mike Trout, RF
8. Erick Aybar, SS
9. Jeff Mathis, C

Jered Weaver, RHP, 15-7, 2.28


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