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.

Francisco Liriano faces the Yankees

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: March 23, 2012 - 11:25 AM

Lefthander Francisco Liriano will try to build off of a strong outing on Sunday against the powerful New York Yankees and their not-so-powerful lineup. In his previous outing, Liriano no-hit the Pirates over five innings.

George M. Steinbrenner Field is where Denard Span hit a foul ball two years ago that struck his mother, who was seated in the first row near the Twins dugout. Ever since then, Span has made sure his mother is seated either behind the screen or higher up in the stands.

Span signed autographs before the game near the spot where his mother was seated that day.
"We are not starting the game until I find out where she's sitting,'' Span said.

Outfielder Trevor Plouffe, who has missed the last several games because of a sore hamstring, could return to action by Monday.

Ryan Doumit is playing first base today. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he knows Doumit isn't totally comfortable there but he needs him to be prepared in case he's needed there during the regular season.

The New York media is scrambling here today after the Yankees announced that reliever Joba Chamberlain is out indefinitely following ankle surgery. Chamberlain was jumping on a trampoline with his son yesterday when he slipped and dislocated his ankle. There is concern that Chamberlain, already recovering to Tommy John surgery, might not be able to contribute this season.

For the first time this spring, Gardenhire threw batting practice. He's been battling some injuries but decided he didn't want to wait for them to heal and took to the mound,

Twins

Denard Span, CF
Pedro Floriman, 2B
Ryan Doumit, 1B
Justin Morneau, DH
Josh Willingham, LF
Sean Burroughs, 3B
Brian Dozier, SS
Brian Dinkleman, RF
Drew Butera, C

Francisco Liriano, LHP

Yanks

Derek Jeter, SS
Curtis Granderson, CF
Mark Teixeira, 1B
A-Rod, 3B
Russel Martin, C
Andruw Jones, DH
Eduardo Nunez, 2B
Bill Hall, LF
Justin Maxwell, RF

Ivan Nova, RHP

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