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.

Dozier asked for advice from on-deck circle

Posted by: Phil Miller under MLB Updated: April 7, 2013 - 11:45 AM

Trevor Plouffe was headed to the dugout Saturday night after being replaced by a pinch-runner, when Brian Dozier stopped him on the on-deck circle. It's a little unusual to do an emergency consultation on the field, but Darren O'Day's sidearm delivery made it necessary.

"You don't see sidearm pitching a lot, and I've never seen O'Day," Dozier explained Sunday morning. "I really wanted to know how his curveball moves -- [with] some guys, it's sharp, and sometimes it's sweeping. Trevor saw five pitches, so I stopped and asked him."

The infielders do that a lot, Dozier said, though usually on the bench. Dozier and Plouffe traded notes on O'Day after Dozier's at-bat, too, for future reference.

Plouffe's observations helped, Dozier said, though he ended up striking out because O'Day only threw one curveball. "He pretty much threw me all sliders," Dozier said.

At least he's ready in case the Twins see O'Day today, in the series finale. Minnesota, 3-2 on the season and tied for first place in the A.L. Central, will attempt to win its second straight series, but must rely on a pitcher making just his second big-league appearance. Pedro Hernandez, who dealt with his nervous energy in the clubhouse by playing bongo drums on his iPad, is auditioning to stick around for awhile -- "I'm willing to consider his results," general manager Terry Ryan said -- though the rotation is about to get a little more crowded. Down in Bradenton, Fla., Scott Diamond makes his final tune-up start, pitching for Class A Fort Myers, and manager Ron Gardenhire said if all goes well, Diamond will start Friday against the Mets.

So here are today's lineups, featuring ex-Twin Alexi Casilla batting ninth for the Orioles. Chris Parmelee, who homered last night, gets a day off against Baltimore righthander Jason Hammel, whose career numbers against right-handers -- they bat .277 against him -- are basically the same as against lefthanders (.275):

TWINS
Hicks CF
Mauer C
Willingham LF
Morneau 1B
Doumit DH
Plouffe 3B
Ramirez RF
Dozier 2B
Florimon SS

Hernandez P

ORIOLES
Markakis RF
Machado 3B
Davis 1B
Jones CF
Pearce DH
Hardy SS
Reimold LF
Teagarden C
Casilla 2B

Hammel P 

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