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.

Game 2: Twins at Boston

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: March 16, 2012 - 4:02 PM

This will be a good test for the left-handed hitters in the Twins lineup as Jon Lester takes the mound for the Red Sox. The M & M boys, with Joe Mauer at first base and Justin Morneau as the designated hitter, will get a look at one of the better lefties in the league. Sean Burroughs as well. Burroughs has a chance to make the team as an extra infielder/bat off the bench. It wouid help his cause if he started hitting to prove he can be that bat.

Lefthander Andrew Miller will follow Lester to the mound. New closer Andrew Bailey is scheduled to pitch as well. The Twins will start Righthander Liam Hendriks. Righthander Kyle Waldrop, who has pitched well in camp, is on the list to follow him. So is righthander Sam Deduno, who throws hard but has to work on his control. Righthander Jason Bulger, who is trying to rally after a slow start, also is on the list to pitch tonight.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire is not with the team this weekend as he attends funeral services for his father-in-law.

Twins

Alexi Casilla, 2B
Jamey Carroll, SS
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, DH
Josh Willingham, RF
Trevor Plouffe, LF
Sean Burroughs, 3B
Joe Benson, CF
Drew Butera, C

Liam Hendriks, RHP

Boston

Jose Iglesias, SS
Pedro Castro, 2B
Kevin Youkilis, 3B
David Ortiz, DH
Darnell McDonald, CF
Josh Kroeger, RF
Kelly Shoppach, C
Lars Anderson, 1B
Jason Repko, LF

Jon Lester, LHP

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