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 face red-hot David Price tonight

Posted by: Phil Miller under Twins game coverage Updated: August 11, 2012 - 4:49 PM

David Price was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 draft out of Vanderbilt, and burst onto the scene for the Rays during their 2008 World Series run. The lefthander is already a three-time All-Star, he owns a 55-30 record and he finished second to Felix Hernandez in the 2010 Cy Young Award voting.

But it almost feels like he’s underrated these days, toiling before the small crowds at Tropicana Field, overshadowed in his own league by CC Sabathia, Justin Verlander and King Felix. Price takes the mound tonight at Target Field with a 2.63 ERA in five career appearances agains Twins, and he’s held their hitters to a .200 batting average and a .556 OPS.

Price is 6-0 with a 1.82 ERA in his past nine starts, and he’ll be pitching opposite Twins righthander Nick Blackburn, against whom opponents have hit .328 with a .923 OPS this year.

So, yes, you could say this pitching matchup is a mismatch. Or, as old friend Peter Schmuck used to say before these kinds of games when we were covering the Orioles together, “It’s a reverse lock.”

Update: Denard Span isn't starting, but it's just a standard day off, and yes, Manager Ron Gardenhire knew it'd be a good day to do it with Price starting.

RAYS (60-52)

1. Desmond Jennings, LF
2. B.J. Upton, CF
3. Matt Joyce, RF
4. Evan Longoria, DH
5. Ben Zobrist, SS
6. Carlos Pena, 1B
7. Jeff Keppinger, 3B
8. Ryan Roberts, 2B
9. Jose Molina, C

Starting pitcher: LH David Price (14-4, 2.49 ERA)

TWINS (49-63)

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

Starting pitcher: RH Nick Blackburn (4-7, 7.42 ERA)

Target Field. First pitch: 6:10 p.m. TV: FSN. Twins Radio Network

Follow along on Twitter: @JoeCStrib

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