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.

Three Twins postgame thoughts from LEN3: RISP, Buxton, Plouffe

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: May 10, 2014 - 6:45 PM

Here are three thoughts following the Twins' loss to the Tigers:

RISP: The Twins were 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position on Saturday and are 6-for-49 (.122) during the road trip. It cost them at least one game during this road trip, and they could have knocked out Max Scherzer earlier if they had gotten a couple key hits. Then they would have gotten into the Tigers bullpen (4.96 ERA) earlier.

BUXTON OUT:  Outfield prospect Byron Buxton was scratched from Class A Fort Myers' lineup on Friday because of a sore left wrist and did not play on Saturday. It's the same left wrist that cost him the first 28 games of the season. Sunday is an off day, so Buxton will have three days off before he can try to play with it on Monday.

PLOUFFE CHILLS OUT: Trevor Plouffe had played in all 34 games before getting a break on Saturday. He's batting .128 over his last 11 games, although he's had a few hard-hit outs.

BONUS NOTE: Joe Mauer returned to the lineup after missing five games because of a sore lower back. He was 1-for-3 as the designated hitter on Saturday, plus a walk. Mauer hopes to play in Sunday's series finale but will see how he responded to playing on Saturday. He made it clear that he is not 100 percent. ``It was good to get back out there, definitely,'' he said. ``I still feel it and I'm definitely stiff right now but I'm good to get back out there.'' Mauer said he was available to pinch hit Saturday and woke up Saturday feeling well enough to play.


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