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.
The White Sox have adjusted their pitching plans again and now plan to have Francisco Liriano pitch Saturday's game against the Twins. This will be his second start against his former team, as he held the Twins to two runs over six innings on July 31, three days after being traded.
So it'll be Chris Sale tonight, Liriano on Saturday and Jake Peavy on Sunday for the White Sox.
The Twins promoted catcher Chris Herrmann to give them insurance with Joe Mauer (back) and Ryan Doumit (oblique) both banged up. Herrmann batted .276 with 10 home runs and 61 RBI this year for Class AA New Britain.
Mauer did some stuff in the batting cage today, so there is growing optimism that he'll be back soon, but the Twins needed Herrmann with Drew Butera as their only fully healthy catcher.
The Twins have a chance to play spoiler in nine of their remaining 18 games, starting with this three-game set against the White Sox.
Next weekend, the Twins have a three-game series in Detroit, and then the Yankees come to Target Field for three games. After going 4-3 to start this homestand against Cleveland and Kansas City, the Twins will certainly have more eyes on them against Chicago. The highlights from this one will come a little sooner on “MLB Tonight.”
If you’re a Tigers fan, you’re not liking the first pitching matchup of this series one bit -- Sale vs. Esmerling Vasquez. This is a high-stakes game for the White Sox, and the Twins will be starting another pitcher who pitches entirely out of the stretch.
But there’s a reason the Twins are giving Vasquez a chance to start this month. If he can find the form that helped him go 9-6 with a 2.78 ERA at Class AAA Rochester, he could make things tough on the White Sox.
WHITE SOX (76-66)
1. Alejandro De Aza, LF
2. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
3. Dewayne Wise, CF
4. Paul Konerko, 1B
5. Alex Rios, RF
6. A.J. Pierzynski, C
7. Dayan Viciedo, DH
8. Alexei Ramirez, SS
9. Gordon Beckham, 2B
Starting pitcher: LH Chris Sale (16-6, 2.88 ERA)
1. Denard Span, CF
2. Jamey Carroll, 2B
3. Josh Willingham, DH
4. Justin Morneau, 1B
5. Trevor Plouffe, 3B
6. Darin Mastroianni, LF
7. Matt Carson, RF
8. Drew Butera, C
9. Pedro Florimon, SS
Starting pitcher: RH Esmerling Vasquez (0-1, 9.35 ERA)
Target Field. First pitch: 7:10 p.m. TV: FSN. Twins Radio Network
Follow along on Twitter: @JoeCStrib
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