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 face Mariners' "other" ace tonight

Posted by: Phil Miller under MLB, On the road Updated: May 31, 2013 - 5:04 PM

The Twins won't face Felix Hernandez during this three-game series, but Hisashi Iwakuma might as well be King Hisashi for all they've managed against tonight's starter. In two starts against Minnesota last season, Iwakuma didn't allow an earned run in his 13 innings.

And He's only gotten better this year. Pitching for the second-lowest scoring team in the American League, the Japanese righthander is 5-1 with a 2.35 ERA, and that's not just a product of pitching in Safeco Field. He's 3-1 with a 3.23 ERA on the road. Nine of his 11 starts have been quality starts, and he's allowed more than three runs only once this season.

By contrast, Mike Pelfrey has allowed more than three runs six times this year, and the Twins need him to find the form he had in Cleveland at the start of the month, when he allowed one run over six innings. It's the right team to do it against -- check out the batting averages posted by the bottom five hitters in Seattle's lineup.

Here are tonight's lineups as the Twins try to extend their winning streak to five:


MARINERS
Endy Chavez (.290) RF
Jason Bay (.241) LF
Kyle Seager (.274) 3B
Kendrys Morales (.298) 1B
Raul Ibanez (.231) DH
Michael Saunders (.208) CF
Nick Franklin (.250) 2B
Jeses Sucre (.071) C
Brendan Ryan (.206) SS

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

Pelfrey RHP
 

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