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.

Twins try to avoid sweep by A's

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: July 15, 2012 - 11:59 AM

A's rigthhander Jarrod Parker gave up five runs to the Mariners, of all teams, in his last outing. But make no mistake, this kid can pitch.

Parker tossed six shutout innings here on May 29, walking four but limiting the Twins to four hits, The Twins actually won that game 3-2 but Parker had little to do with that, as Josh Willingham hit a three-run walk off homer to win that game.

The Twins hope that lefthander Brian Duensing can match Parker on what will be a humid afternoon in the Twin Cities.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said before the game that Brian Dozier might be taking his at-bats out to the field again. Dozier did hit a homer yesterday but was part of a poor relay from the outfield. Gardenhire also thinks that Dozier is playing too deep at short. He moves in once he's told about it, then slowly drifts back.

There are no indications that the Twins are ready to make a move with Dozier. I recently spoke with a scout who had seen Class AAA Rochester, and he was not impressed with shortstop Pedro Florimon.

Matt Capps said he felt great one day after throwing a scoreless inning, his first action since coming off the disabled list. His velocity was down, but he was more pleased that his pitches had good movement, He expects the velo to improve with more outings.

Athletics (45-43)

1. Jemile Weeks, 2B
2. Jonny Gomes, LF
3. Josh Reddick, CF
4. Yeonis Cespedes, DH
5. Chris Carter, 1B
6. Brandon Inge, 3B
7. Derek Norris, C
8. Seth Smith, RF
9. Brandon Hicks, SS

Pitching: Jarrod Parker, RHP

Twins (36-51)

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

Pitching: Brian Duensing, LHP

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