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-Rays: Another series against a contending team

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: September 13, 2013 - 5:13 PM

Another series, more ex-Twins.

Outfielder Delmon Young was picked up by the Rays after being let go by the Phillies earlier this season. He's batting .263 with one homer and one RBI in eight games with Tampa Bay, and will likely start tomorrow against lefthander Andrew Albers.

Reliever Jesse Crain was traded from the White Sox while on the disabled list and still hasn't pitched for the Rays. I thought Crain's season was over but he threw in the bullpen today and will face a few hitters tomorrow. He could be a big help if he can take the mound for Tampa.

The Twins lost their last five series at Target Field. Home cooking is pretty rotten here.

As for the Twins, this is the first appearance by a starter after being pushed back in the new six-man rotation. So it will be interesting to see how Kevin Correia does with the extra day of rest. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said the move should really help Andrew Albers, who has easily thrown more innings in a season than he ever has, and Mike Pelfrey, as his innings pile up in his first season following Tommy John surgery.

Catcher Joe Mauer is at the park but was not at his clubhouse stall. He's expected to try to work out again today but that depended on how he felt. Mauer hasn't played since Aug. 19 because of a concussion. He made good progress on his comeback  before having a setback on Wednesday. He did rebound to work out on Thursday.

Tampa Bay (79-66)

1. David DeJesus, LF
2. Ben Zobrist, 2B
3. James Loney, 1B
4. Evan Longoria, 3B
5. Kelly Johnson, DH
6. Wil Myers, RF
7. Desmond Jennings, CF
8. Jose Molina, C
9. Yunel Escobar, SS

Pitching: Chris Archer, RHP

Twins (63-82)

1. Alex Presley, CF
2. Josmil Pinto, C
3. Brian Dozier, 2B
4. Oswaldo Arcia, DH
5. Trevor Plouffe, 3B
6. Chris Parmelee, 1B
7. Darin Mastroianni, LF
8. Clete Thomas, RF
9. Eduardo Escobar, SS

Pitching: Kevin Correia, RHP

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