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 Pregame: Twins look to move over .500.

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: May 17, 2014 - 4:53 PM


Bench coach Terry Steinbach is at the University of Minnesota-Duluth today attending his son Jake's graduation, so he will not be with the club for tonight's game. Paul Molitor will be the bench coach tonight and will likely take over if Twins manager Ron Gardenhire gets tossed from the game. And that is not out of the question with Angel Hernandez behind the plate.

Gardenhire hopes Chris Colabello breaks out of his slump tonight against Seattle pitcher Roenis Elias, a lefthander. ``We think this is a good matchup for Collie,'' Gardenhire said. Colabello is in a 0-for-18 skid and is batting .116 over his last 18 games.

The Twins will make a roster move tomorrow to go down to 12 pitchers. Oswaldo Arcia homered on Friday, but Gardenhire indicated they want to see him play a few more games at Rochester before they call him up.  Sounds like they want to make sure his wrist will hold up after he had that setback  last week.

Reports on Mike Pelfrey came back good after he gave up one run over five innings on Friday. He worked fast, and he had no problems with the groin muscle that landed him on the disabled list.

Brian Dozier enters the game with a seven-game hitting streak. Kurt Suzuki and Eduardo Escobar have six-game streaks and Josmil Pinto is at five.

Believe it or not, this will be the 61st time Kurt Suzuki has started a game as the cleanup hitter.

In 40 games, Gardenhire has used 32 different lineups.


Seattle (20-21)

James Jomes, CF
Michael Saunders, RF
Robinson Cano, 2B
Corey Hart, DH
Kyle Seager, 3B
Justin Smoak, 1B
Dustin Ackley, LF
Mike Zunino, C
Brad Miller, SS

Roenis Elias, LHP

Twins (20-20)

Brian Dozier, 2B
Joe Mauer, 1B
Trevor Plouffe, 3B
Kurt Suzuki, DH
Josmil Pinto, C
Chris Colabello, RF
Eduardo Nunez, LF
Aaron Hicks, CF
Eduardo Escobar, SS

Samuel Deduno

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