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.

Twins-Cubs: Don't forget to hydrate today

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: June 9, 2012 - 1:22 PM

Both Denard Span and Joe Mauer return to the lineup today as the Twins face Jeff Samardzija. Jeff can hump it up to 95 miles an hour and he has a pretty good slider.

If you didn't notice, five homers were hit yesterday. And Justin Morneau hit his first triple since 2010 with a one-handed swing. The ball just kept carrying to the right-center wall.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said the ball was carrying well during batting practice again today. It will be interesting to see how Jeff attacks Twins hitters. Someone with his stuff might want to be aggressive pitching in a big ballpark like this. But the humid air appears to be helping fly balls.

One more thing from last night. If Mauer had pinch hit and the Twins failed to score, Gardy would have had to put Mauer at first, Chris Parmelee to right field and move Darin Mastroianni  to second. Mastroianni has played second before.

For those of you who can't let go of the dream, the Twins will hold tryout camps at the Dome on June 19-20. Show up at Gate D at 8:30 to register. You must be a high school graduate, a junior in college or at least 21 years old. Skills and fundamentals will be tested on day one, with players invited back for day two.

Cubs (19-39)

1. Reed Johnson, LF
2. Starlin Castro, SS
3. David DeJesus, RF
4. Alfonso Soriano, DH
5. Jeff Baker, 1B
6. Joe Mather, CF
7. Steve Clevenger, C
8. Darwin Barney, 2B
9. Ian Stewart, 3B

Jeff Samardzija, RHP

Twins (23-34)

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

Scott Diamond, LHP

First pitch: 1:10


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