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, Revere sitting as Twins look to turn it around in Seattle

Posted by: Phil Miller under Twins game coverage Updated: August 17, 2012 - 6:38 PM

SEATTLE -- If you've been following the Twins, you might do a doubletake when you see tonight's lineup.

Denard Span has a sore clavicle and Ben Revere has a sore ankle, so they're out. Joe Mauer is batting second. Newcomers Matt Carson and Pedro Florimon are both in there.

I'll post some updates ASAP.

Blackburn vs. Iwakuma

With six losses in their past seven games, the Twins open a 10-game road trip tonight with the first of three against the Mariners.

The Twins will be facing Mariners righthander Hisashi Iwakuma for the first time. Two years ago, the Twins made the second-highest bid for Iwakuma, when he first considered coming over from Japan. Oakland won the bid but never signed him. He was posted again last offseason, but had an arm injury, so the Twins shied away.

Iwakuma is 2-1 with a 3.15 ERA in his past three starts, and that includes an eight-inning, 13-strikeout performance against Toronto on July 30. His fastball averages about 90-91 mph, and he throws a pretty good splitter.

Nick Blackburn fell behind 3-0 in the first inning against Tampa Bay last Saturday, then held the Rays to one run over the next five innings, in a 4-2 loss.

Update: Span and Revere are both day-to-day. Revere's ankle turned black and blue after Wednesday's game, but he said he told the staff he'd try to be available in a pinch. It doesn't sound like Span will be available, but he was hoping to go through a regular batting practice.

TWINS (50-67)

1. Darin Mastroianni, CF
2. Joe Mauer, C
3. Josh Willingham, LF
4. Justin Morneau, 1B
5. Ryan Doumit, DH
6. Trevor Plouffe, 3B
7. Matt Carson, RF
8. Jamey Carroll, 2B
9. Pedro Florimon, SS

Starting pitcher: RH Nick Blackburn (4-8, 7.33 ERA)

MARINERS (55-64)

1. Dustin Ackley, 2B
2. Michael Saunders, CF
3. Kyle Seager, 3B
4. John Jaso, DH
5. Justin Smoak, 1B
6. Miguel Olivo, C
7. Trayvon Robinson, LF
8. Eric Thames, RF
9. Brendan Ryan, SS

Starting pitcher: RH Hisashi Iwakuma (3-3, 4.16 ERA)

Safeco Field. 9:10 p.m. (Central). TV: FSN. Twins Radio Network

Follow along on Twitter: @JoeCStrib


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