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 go for sweep without Willingham

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: September 2, 2012 - 11:50 AM

Josh Willingham is not in the lineup today because of a slightly sore left hamstring. Twins General Manager Terry Ryan said Willingham is available as a pinch hitter late in the game. The Twins want to keep him off the leg before it gets any worse.

Denard Span is going to take some light swings to test the bruised sc joint that has landed him on the disabled list.

Nick Blackburn is on the mound today for Class AAA Rochester. The Red Wings, 71-71, are trying to finish over .500 after two 90-loss seasons.

Glen Perkins is the first Twins pitcher to get saves in both ends of a doubleheader since 1984. He said he held back a little in the first game, knowing that he might be needed in the second game.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he's prepared to use Jared Burton as the closer today, but Perkins said he didn't feel that bad and was going to play catch before the game to see if he can be available.

Brian Duensing looks to be headed back to the bullpen as the Twins will go with a six-man rotation of Esmerling Vasquez, Samuel Deduno, Scott Diamond, P.J. Walters, Cole De Vries and Liam Hendriks - at least for now.

Trevor Plouffe is getting the day off.

Twins (55-78)

1. Ben Revere, CF
2. Jamey Carroll, 3B
3. Joe Mauer, 1B
4. Justin Morneau, 1B
5. Ryan Doumit, C
6. Chris Parmelee, RF
7. Matt Carson, LF
8. Alexi Casilla, 2B
9. Pedro Florimon, SS

Pitching: Esmerling Vasquez, RHP

Royals (59-73)

1. David Lough, RF
2. Alcides Escobar, SS
3. Alex Gordon, LF
4. Billy Butler, DH
5. Salvador Perez, C
6. Mike Moustakas, 3B
7. Lorenzo Cain, CF
8. Eric Hosmer, 1B
9. Tony Abreu, 2B

Pitching: Luis Medonza, RHP



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