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 try to even the series with Diamond on the mound

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III under On the road Updated: May 7, 2013 - 4:03 PM

Perfect day here in Boston as the Twins prepare to play the Red Sox. Lefthander Scott Diamond, making his first start at historic Fenway Park, is on the mound tonight looking to improve to 3-2 on the season.

The Twins lost 6-5 in 11 innings last night as they blew two major scoring chances. They had a chance to send to Clay Buchholz to the showers in the first inning. When you get a chance to put you foot down on a pitcher's throat on the road, ya gotta go get him. Let's see if the Twins keep that in mind as they face Ryan Dempster, who beat them twice last season.

They need to sustain offense. They are batting .228 on this road trip, .224 with runners in scoring position.

Curious to see what the Twins' batting order looks like. Jamey Carroll is batting .429 against Dempster, so I would expect him to be in the starting lineup somewhere. Will check back later with lineups.

Many of you will be locked in on the Wild-Blackhawks game when it begins. If that's the case, make sure to follow me on twitter at @LaVelleNeal for Twins updates.


Josh Roenicke is available out of the bullpen tonight. Ryan Pressky will be the long man if needed. Gardy was coy about who was and wasn't available tonight. But you can figure it out that Swarzak is out, Burton is out and Casey is probably out.

As expected, Jamey Carroll is in the starting lineup and Brian Dozier is getting a day off.

Aaron Hicks is not in the lineup either. He said he's been feeling better at the plate lately, but understood Gardy's decision to go with Wilkin Ramirez. ``Wilkin can turn on one and hit it over the Monster,'' Hicks said.


Closer Joel Hanrahan has been placed on the 15-day disabled list because of forearm tightness. Righthander Allan Webster was called up from Pawtucket to replace Hanrahan on the soter - but has been named the starter for Wednesday's game against the Twins. Lefthander Felix Doubront, originally scheduled to start on Wednesday, has been shifted to the bullpen.

If Boston needs to close out tonight's game, Junichi Tazawa will be the last man standing.

Twins (13-15)

1. Jamey Carroll, SS
2. Joe Mauer, DH
3. Josh Willingham, LF
4. Justin Morneau, 1B
5. Trevor Plouffe, 3B
6. Ryan Doumit, C
7. Chris Parmelee, RF
8. Wilkin Ramirez, CF
9. Brian Dozier, 2B

Pitching: Scott Diamond, LHP

Red Sox (21-11)

1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2. Shane Victorino, RF
3. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
4. David Ortiz, DH
5. Mike Napoli, 1B
6. Jonny Gomes, LF
7. Will Middlebrooks, 3B
8. Stephen Drew, SS
9. David Ross, C

Pitching: Ryan Dempster, RHP


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