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.

Four lefties in Twins' lineup against Lee

Posted by: Phil Miller under MLB Updated: June 13, 2013 - 5:19 PM

The Phillies have the right pitcher on the mound today -- Cliff Lee is 6-1 this season when following a Philadelphia loss, and the Phillies are one loss away from being swept by the Twins. Lee is also on a personal five-game winning streak.

Lee (7-2, 2.55 ERA) used to face the Twins all the time -- in three different seasons while he was a Cleveland Indian, Lee made four starts against Minnesota. But he hasn't been on the mound against the Twins for nearly three years now, since a five-runs-in-five-innings stint for the Rangers in 2010. He's never faced them as a Phillie, nor ever pitched in Target Field.

Lee, a lefthander, is one of those rare pitchers with a reverse platoon split, meaning lefthanders fare better against him than righthanders. For his career, lefties are batting .261 with a .385 slugging average for his career, versus a .252 average and .397 slugging against righthanders. And this year, it's even more pronounced: lefthanders are hitting .283 with a .348 slugging average, while righthanders have a .206 average and .305 slugging.

Maybe that's why Ron Gardenhire didn't hesitate to use four left-handed hitters in his lineup today, three of them in a row. We'll see if it makes a difference.

One other note: righthanded reliever Anthony Slama was released today by the Twins. A former 39th round draft pick, Slama owns 102 career saves in the minors, but was 0-4 with a 13.50 ERA with Class AAA Rochester this year. 

Tonight's lineup as the Twins try to go above .500 in interleague play (they're 8-8 at the moment):


Revere CF
M. Young 3B
Rollins SS
Howard 1B
Brown LF
D. Young DH
Nix RF
Galvis 2B
Quintero C



Carroll 3B
Mauer (L) C
Doumit RF
Willingham DH
Morneau 1B
Arcia LF
Thomas CF
Dozier 2B
Escobar SS

Correia RHP


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