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.

Twins-Blue Jays: Wait a minute, the baseball season is not over yet

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: September 8, 2013 - 11:57 AM

The Twins will try to end their nine-game home losing streak today when they play host to the Blue Jays at Target Field. The Twins have been swept at Target Field five times this season, not counting rain-shortened series or make-up games.

Andrew Albers had pitched at least into the sixth inning in his first five major league outings but was knocked out in the second inning earlier this week against Houston. Is his control a little off or has the scouting network caught up with him? Twins manager Ron Gardenhire feels it is a location issue. So Albers has to get ahead in the count and give himself a chance, because a mistake to some of the hitters on this team will travel 400 feet.

Some post-game notes from last night:

Josmil Pinto singled in the eighth inning Saturday to extend his hit streak to five games. He is the ninth Twin to begin his career with a hit in at least five straight games…in five major league games he is hitting .556 (10‐for‐18) with a home run, three RBI and four runs scored.

Trevor Plouffe has at least one hit in 16 of his last 19 games. Over the 19 games he is hitting .324 (24‐for‐74) with eight
doubles, two home runs and five RBI.

Alex Presley collected a hit in his fourth straight game and is batting .370 since joing the Twins.

Other stuff

Samuel Deduno has seen a specialist for his shoulder. He's still battling some soreness.

Chris Herrmann wants to play winter ball.

Darin Mastroianni will not, opting to spend the offseason in the Twin Cities and work on being as fit as possible before spring training.

Today is Ron and Carol Gardenhire's 34th wedding anniversary. Yes, they were married in September. Gardenhire had finished the season in the minors and had one weekend before instructional league began. Their honeymoon was instructional league.

It's become obvious that the city of Minneapolis is on a revenue drive before the baseball season ends. Normally, parking prices in the ramp don't go up until three hours before game time. Now, the city is jacking up the rates earlier than that. I arrived at the ramp nearly four hours before gametime today amd the $13 sign already was in place. ``You're  charging me $13 to park when the team is 16 games under .500 in September?'' I cried at the woman taking my money. She laughed. I'm sure that's what the people running the parking ramps are doing at 9:15 a.m. on a Sunday. Can't wait to see how many people park in those ramps on this first NFL Sunday of the year.

Blue Jays (66-76)

1. Jose Reyes, SS
2. Rajai Davis, CF
3. Brett Lawrie, 3B
4. Adam Lind, DH
5. Mark DeRosa, 1B
6. Moises Sierra, RF
7. J.P. Arrencibia, C
8. Ryan Goins, 2B
9. Kevin Pillar, LF

Pitching: Esmil Rogers, RHP

Twins (61-79)

1. Alex Presley, CF
2. Chris Herrmann, C
3. Brian Dozier, 2B
4. Oswaldo Arcia, LF
5. Ryan Doumit, DH
6. Trevor Plouffe, 3B
7. Chris Colabello, 1B
8. Clete Thomas, RF
9. Pedro Florimon, SS

Pitching: Andrew Albers, LHP


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