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.

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.

Willingham rests knee while Twins take on Royals

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: June 30, 2013 - 12:18 PM

Josh Willingham is not in the lineup, as manager Ron Gardenhire gives him another chance to rest his sore left knee. Willingham received a cortisone shot in the knee during the previous homestand, which has helped some.

``He's available,'' Gardy said. ``He can DH. I don't think left field would be a good thing for him right now I think another day we should get there.''

Willingham is a .364 career hitter against Royals righthander Ervin Santana.

That gives Oswaldo Arcia another start in left and opens up right field for Chris Parmelee. Chances for both young men to impress.

Ryan Doumit is back as the designated hitter, but his sore right ankle is still giving him some problems.

``I still won't try him in right field,'' Gardy said. ``Running is the hardest thing for him. Stopping. But i want to get his bat in there.''

Eduardo Escobar is getting a start today. ``He works his tail off every day and needs to be out there,'' Gardy said.

Santana is 2-0 with a MLB-low 1.56 ERA this month. He's 5-3, 3.95 in 11 starts against the Twins. He has had some strong outings against the Twins, especially when they've had trouble picking up his slider.

Clubhouse attendant Wayne Hattaway stopped by the park today after being released from the hospital. He felt dizzy on Thursday and would up being seen by doctors. He said he showed symptoms of having a stroke but didn't officially have one. He's been ordered to drink more fluids and get some exercise. ``Baseball is not going to get rid of me that easily,'' he said.

Royals (37-41)

1. Alex Gordon, LF
2. Alcides Escobar, SS
3. Eric Hosmer, 1B
4. Billy Butler, DH
5. Salvador Perez, C
6. Mike Moustakas, 3B
7. Lorenzo Cain, CF
8. David Lough, RF
9. Johnny Giavotella, 2B

Pitching: Ervin Santana, RHP

Twins (36-41)

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

Pitching: Kevin Correia, RHP


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