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: Pino, Fuld, King Felix

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: July 11, 2014 - 1:13 AM

Here are three thoughts following the Twins' 4-2 win over Seattle.

PINO GETS WIN, GETS DEMOTED: Yohan Pino had to work out of two bases loaded jams on Thursday. He struck out Corey Hart by taking something off his slider on a 3-2 pitch. Then he got Hart to tap to first to end the fifth with the bases loaded. Chris Parmelee made a nice play to his right and threw to Pino, who was covering first. Pino needed 100 pitches to get through five innings, but he has the game ball from his first major league win. ``I'm happy for me, my family and my teammates,'' he said. He was also given a plane ticket to Rochester. Someone had to go to make room for Kris Johnson, who is starting tomorrow. Pino is not scheduled to pitch again until the Monday after the break. So it makes sense.

FULD ON BASE: Sam Fuld reached base in 9 of his last 11 plate appearances on four singles, four walks and one home run. He entered the game batting .345 since June 21. He could be a big boost at the bottom of the lineup.

INTERESTING DECISION: Tom Wilhelmsen, a reliever, started on Thursday so the Mariners could push Felix Hernandez back a day to start against the A's, Well, the move backfired, as the Mariners now will face Oakland with a three-game losing streak.

BONUS: Just in case you were wondering. Byron Buxton was scheduled to leave Fort Myers' game after four at bats tonight. So the fact he was replaced late in the game is not a reason for concern. I checked with a Twins official who said it was part of his progression.

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