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.

Postgame: Hicks' big night spoiled by loss

Posted by: Phil Miller under MLB Updated: July 8, 2013 - 11:18 PM

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Aaron Hicks admits that he knew he had a shot at hitting for the cycle. Once you hit a triple, he pointed out, it becomes a lot more doable.

So when he came to the plate in the ninth inning needing only a home run to make history -- only 10 Twins have ever hit for the cycle, the last being Mike Cuddyer in 2009 -- Hicks was aware of it. But the circumstances of the game dictated that he not try to hit one.

"In that situation, you've kind of got to get a good pitch to hit, and also you've got to worry about what's going on in the game," he said. The Twins trailed 7-3 at the time, so Hicks was "trying to get something going there, maybe make it a different game." He lashed a double to right field, and eventually scored the Twins' fourth run -- in yet another loss.

Aaron Hicks is 10-for-25 since his return from a hamstring injury, a .400 average that has lifted his season statistics out of cover-your-eyes territory. But the Twins are 1-6 with him back in the lineup.

"I'm not really worried about where my batting average is right now, I'm worried winning ballgames," Hicks said. "I'm swinging the bat pretty good right now, so maybe I can help the team."

Not that the team's slump is his fault, or the offense's. The Twins gave up seven runs for the seventh time in their last 11 games, all Minnesota losses. The Twins have not scored seven or more in a victory since June 20, 17 games ago.


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