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.

Pregame: Thomas makes 2013 debut tonight

Posted by: Phil Miller under MLB Updated: June 6, 2013 - 3:55 PM

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Clete Thomas has played in 157 major-league games, but No. 158, tonight against the Royals, might feel a little different. It's the first time in more than 13 months that the veteran outfielder has been in a big-league lineup.

Thomas has had long droughts before -- he spent 2010 and 2011 in Toledo, waiting for another chance in Detroit -- but he's 28 now and had reason to believe he might not get the call again. But with Darin Mastroianni out with a broken ankle and Wilkin Ramirez suffering from a concussion, his strong start at AAA Rochester -- a .296 average and nine home runs -- has paid off. He'll give Aaron Hicks a night off tonight, and bat seventh against K.C. starter Wade Davis.

It's the first time since May 25 that Hicks hasn't been in the lineup; the rookie, who has appeared in 52 of the Twins' 56 games, hasn't sat out a game completely since May 12.

I'll be back with more from the clubhouse soon. Until then, here are tonight's lineups:

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

Pelfrey RHP

ROYALS
Gordon LF
Hosmer 1B
Perez C
Butler DH
Moustakas 3B
Cain CF
Lough RF
Getz 2B
Escobar SS

Wade Davis RHP
 

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