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.

De Vries out for season; Hendriks seeks first MLB tonight

Posted by: Phil Miller under Twins game coverage Updated: September 13, 2012 - 8:43 PM

Twins pitcher Cole De Vries is out for the rest of the season with a cracked rib. De Vries had an MRI exam on Thursday, which showed the crack, an injury that will take 4-6 weeks to heal.

Scott Diamond will pitch Sunday in De Vries' place, as the Twins return to a five-man rotation.

Ryan Doumit has a strained muscle in his rib cage and is day-to-day. With Joe Mauer out with back spasms, Drew Butera is getting the start behind the plate tonight, and Manager Ron Gardenhire said Eduardo Escobar would be available to catch in an emergency.

Liriano starting for Chicago on Friday

The White Sox will start Francisco Liriano against the Twins in Friday night's series opener at Target Field. Liriano had been relegated to the bullpen after issuing 15 walks in his past three starts.

Update: Chicago's game against Detroit on Thursday was postponed, so the White Sox now plan to skip Liriano's next start and use Chris Sale against the Twins on Friday.

Tonight's game

The Twins might lead their season series with the Royals 10-7, but Kansas City has certainly outclassed them this week at Target Field. After losing 9-1 on Tuesday and 10-5 on Wednesday, the Twins are looking to avoid a sweep tonight.

Once again, Liam Hendriks will be trying for his first major league win. He is 0-9 with a 6.19 ERA in 16 career starts. It’s clearly weighing on him, as he couldn’t get in the win column despite having big leads in each of his past two outings.

"If he gets through seven inning, I can promise you this: [Jared] Burton’s going to throw the eighth, and [Glen] Perkins is going to throw the ninth," Gardenhire said. "Because they haven’t pitched in three or four days, and both of those guys will pitch. So unless it’s a no-hitter -- which that would be wonderful, too -- they need to pitch, both of them."

The Royals counter with Luis Mendoza, who is 2-1 with a 2.96 ERA in four games against the Twins this year, including three starts.

Stat of the day: Royals catcher Salvador Perez, who is riding a 16-game hitting streak, is a .393 hitter (22-for-56) in 15 career games against the Twins.

ROYALS (65-77)

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. Johnny Giavotella, 2B

Starting pitcher: RH Luis Mendoza (7-9, 4.63 ERA)

TWINS (59-84)

1. Denard Span, CF
2. Ben Revere, RF
3. Josh Willingham, DH
4. Justin Morneau, 1B
5. Trevor Plouffe, 3B
6. Darin Mastroianni, LF
7. Eduardo Escobar, 2B
8. Drew Butera, C
9. Pedro Florimon, SS

Starting pitcher: RH Liam Hendriks (0-7, 6.20 ERA)

Target Field. First pitch: 7:10 p.m. TV: FSN. Twins Radio Network

Follow along on Twitter: @JoeCStrib

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