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 scratched; Morneau set to return, as Twins battle Detroit

Posted by: Phil Miller under Twins game coverage Updated: May 16, 2012 - 5:05 PM

DETROIT -- Twins center fielder Denard Span was scratched from tonight's starting lineup with continued tightness in his right hamstring. He's day-to-day.

Erik Komatsu will take his place in center field and the leadoff spot.

Span, who missed Tuesday's game with the same injury, actually continued taking batting practice and ran the bases even after being scratched. He's available off the bench.

Span is a .353 career hitter against the Tigers. Manager Jim Leyland once said, "He hits us so good, it's like he's in our meetings."

Morneau returns

The Twins will have Justin Morneau back in their lineup tonight, as they begin a two-game series with the Tigers at Comerica Park.

According to, Morneau is a career .188 hitter off tonight’s starter for Detroit, Rick Porcello (3-for-16 with one homer, two doubles, four RBI, one walk and two strikeouts). Morneau is 3-for-6 lifetime against Thursday's starter, Doug Fister.

Nick Blackburn pitches for the Twins tonight, coming off his first win in 14 starts. As La Velle noted in his series preview, the key matchup for Blackburn is Miguel Cabrera, who is 13-for-29 (.448) with three homers and 13 RBI for his career against the righthander.

Tigers closer Jose Valverde tweaked his back Tuesday in Chicago, so they might need Octavio Dotel or Joaquin Benoit to step up in a save situation.

Update: No changes to the Twins rotation -- for now. I'll have more in tonight's notebook about the team's thoughts on Jason Marquis coming off Tuesday's rough start.

TWINS (10-26)

1. Denard Span Erik Komatsu, CF
2. Brian Dozier, SS
3. Joe Mauer, DH
4. Josh Willingham, LF
5. Justin Morneau, 1B
6. Ryan Doumit, C
7. Trevor Plouffe, RF
8. Alexi Casilla, 2B
9. Jamey Carroll, 3B

Starting pitcher: RH Nick Blackburn (1-4, 7.18 ERA)

TIGERS (18-18)

1. Austin Jackson, CF
2. Andy Dirks, LF
3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B
4. Prince Fielder, 1B
5. Delmon Young, DH
6. Alex Avila, C
7. Ryan Raburn, 2B
8. Brennan Boesch, RF
9. Ramon Santiago, SS

Starting pitcher: RH Rick Porcello (3-3, 5.18 ERA)

Comerica Park. First pitch: 6:05 p.m. (Central). TV: FSN. Twins Radio Network.

Follow along on Twitter: @JoeCStrib


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