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: Twins' bullpen back to shutdown ways

Posted by: Phil Miller under MLB Updated: July 20, 2013 - 11:06 PM

A handful of leftovers from tonight's 3-2 Twins win:

THRILLING FINISH: The Twins' bullpen has obviously benefitted from the four-day All-Star break, because they appear at the top of their game again. Jared Burton followed Friday night's three-K inning with two big outs in the seventh, stranding the tying run on second by getting Mark Reynolds to foul out and Lonnie Chisenhall to fly out. Casey Fien faced only three hitters in the eighth, thanks to Ryan Doumit's fourth outfield assist of the year (and the Twins' league-leading 29th), and Glen Perkins, after allowing a leadoff single and a sacrifice bunt, struck out Carlos Santana on a 3-2 fastball that registered 97 mph. Then he retired Ryan Raburn on a foul pop to first, and the Twins had once again kept Cleveland from climbing closer to Detroit in the A.L. Central race. Fien said he didn't change his approach to Cabrera and Jason Kipnis, even though he had faced them on Friday. "I think they knew my gameplan, but I still stuck with it," he said. "Some days you just have to let them put the ball in play. They get themselves out most of the time."

LEFTY OVERKILL: Kevin Correia couldn't think of a more left-handed lineup that he had ever faced than Cleveland's on Saturday, a batting order that was made up of five lefties, three switch-hitters and right-handed Mark Reynolds, "a guy it feels like I've pitched to 100 times." But if the Indians were hoping the one-sided lineup would throw off Correia, they had the wrong guy. "Actually, it feels like it simplifies your approach," he said after collecting his seventh win of the year. The platoon advantage is minimal against a guy like Correia, who is comfortable working both sides of the plate. In his 10-year career, he has allowed lefties to post a .773 OPS, while right-handers hit .765. This year, still about the same: .820 OPS by left-handers, .799 by right. "It really doesn't make much difference to me," he said.

RBIs ARE FOREVER: Chris Colabello hasn't hit the ball hard yet in two games as the Twins' new regular designated hitter, but maybe things are about to turn around for him. In a critical situation, with the tying run on third in the sixth inning, Colabello lofted a medium pop fly about 150 feet down the right-field line, just where no Indian could reach it. The bloop goes down as a game-changing single -- in fact, it was the only hit with runners in scoring position for either team, as the Indians went 0-for-6 and the Twins 1-for-7 -- and Colabello said it made him feel more comfortable. If he can come close to producing like he did in Rochester, he'll be a valuable weapon in the bottom of the lineup.

 

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