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-Tigers: Plouffe returns to starting lineup

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: June 15, 2013 - 4:26 PM


It's raining pretty good at Target Field. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire has all his weather toys opened on his computer, trying to play weatherman.

``It's all around us right now,'' he said.

Everyone thinks the game will be played. Will it start on time? No one is ready to go out on that limb.

UPDATE: The tarp is being pulled off (4:22 p.m.)

Whenever the game starts, Clete Thomas will be batting leadoff. Gardenhire is trying to figure out ways to get the offense going, and he thinks Thomas has had some good at bats in recent games, so he gets the shot.\

Trevor Plouffe has arrived and is in the lineup after recovering from a strained calf. He said he's changed his pre-game routine since injuring his calf twice this season. The Twins could use any offense he can provide. Jamey Carroll and Eduardo Escobar went 10-for-89 (.112) as Plouffe's replacements.

Chris Herrmann, who was sent to Rochester to make room for Plouffe, will continue to catch and play the outfield. Gardy thinks Herrmann will increase his chances of sticking in the majors one day if he can play more positions.

Wilkin Ramirez said he headed out on a minor league rehabilitation assignment either Sunday or Monday. He hasn't played since late May because of a concussion.

Torii Hunter is getting a day off.

Anibal Sanchez nearly no-hit the Twins on May 24 in Detroit. This is the first time he's faced the Twins since then.

BTW, I mentioned earlier in the week that Jared Burton needed an extra day of rest because of a slightly sore shoulder. It was a groin muscle, not shoulder. Sorry for the confusion.

Tigers (37-28)

1. Austin Jackson, CF
2. Andy Dirks, LF
3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B
4. Prince Fielder, 1B
5. Victor Martinez, DH
6. Jhonny Perlata, SS
7. Don Kelly, RF
8. Omar Infante, 2B
9. Alex Avila, C

Pitching: Anibal Sanchez, RHP

Twins (29-35)

1. Clete Thomas, CF
2. Joe Mauer, DH
3. Ryan Doumit, C
4. Justin Morneau, 1B
5. Oswaldo Arcia, LF
6. Trevor Plouffe, 3B
7. Chris Parmelee, RF'
8. Brian Dozier, 2B
9. Pedro Florimon, SS

Pitching: Samuel Deduno, RHP


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