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.

Twins-Red Sox: Hernandez returns to Fenway. Hicks returns to lineup

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: May 8, 2013 - 5:01 PM

Pedro Hernandez, last July, made his major league debut against the Red Sox as a member of the White Sox. The baptism ended with eight runs on 12 hits over four innings. So young Pedro has a shot at redemption tonight as he faces the Red Sox.

Only three Red Sox players from that game are in today's lineup. Jacoby Ellsbury was 3-for-3. Will Middlebrooks was 1-for-3. Pedro Ciriaco was 1-for-2. Make that two: Middlebrooks won't play today after injuring his right side during Tuesday's game.

We're waiting to see the Twins lineup. Aaron Hicks was upbraided by manager Ron Gardenhire during last night's game, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Hicks back in the lineup today. His problems haven't only been at the plate. There have been balls he should have caught and cut off men he needs to hit - strange because he's tied for the AL lead in assists with six., so he's doing something right.

I just think Gardy loves Hicks' ability too much to bench him. I think the blow up last night was based on a culmination of things. Growing pains. Teaching moments

And.....Hicks is in the lineup.

I'll be back with updates...

UPDATES

Sorry for the delay. The clubhouse was gripped by the Jodi Arias verdict - and no, I'm not kidding,

Gardy, predictably, wanted to downplay what happened last night but showed how much he supports Hicks by putting him back in the lineup. Like I said, the manager likes Hicks' skills too much to banish him to the bench.

``A teaching moment,'' Gardenhire called it.

Hicks appreciated being back in the lineup too. He didn't realize what he had done at the time, but understood why he shouldn't carelessly flip the ball like that. And I still believe Gardy wasn't just yelling at Hicks for that, but his recent body of defensive work.

Stat of the day: Twins hitters are batting .233 against right-handed pitching, the fifth lowest in baseball. Some of that is Hicks induced, but still reflects a lack of bashing from some of the guys who bat left-handed.

 


Twins

1. Jamey Carroll, 2B
2. Joe Mauer, C
3. Josh Willingham, LF
4. Justin Morneau, 1B
5. Trevor Plouffe, 3B
6. Ryan Doumit, DH
7. Oswaldo Arcia, RF
8. Aaron Hicks, CF
9. Pedro Florimon, SS


Red Sox

1. Jacoby Ellsbury, Cf
2, Shane Victorino, RF
3. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
4. David Ortiz, DH
5. Mike Napoli, C
6. Jonny Gomes, LF
7. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
8. Stephen Drew, SS
9. Pedro Castro, 3B

Pitching: Allen Webster, RHP

Pitching: Pedro Hernandez, LHP

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