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-Indians pregame: Pino tasked with stopping All-Star Brantley

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: July 22, 2014 - 5:42 PM

Twins starter Yohan Pino will be tasked with stopping Indians All-Star center fielder Michael Brantley, who had just a pinch hit appearance in the Twins’  4-3 victory over the Indians on Monday.

Brantley ripped a double to right field off reliever Casey Fien in the eighth inning. He’s batting third for the Indians on Tuesday. Brantley is .284 with two home runs and 32 RBIs in 291 plate appearances against the Twins.

Pino, who will make his sixth career start, has never faced Brantley.

“We don’t have too many people that have a lot of success against him,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “He comes in last night and, boy, the ball must’ve looked like a beach ball. We’ve got to figure out a way to make it look like a golf ball and get him out. He’s a pretty good hitter.”

Sam Fuld will start in left field with Danny Stantana remaining in center field. Gardenhire doesn’t want to put Santana in left field, a position he’s never placed, and wants to keep shortstop Eduardo Escobar in the lineup.

“[Santana] can fly out there and Sammy can cover his ground so it works out better this way,” Gardenhire said.

Here’s the rest of the lineup:

Jason Kipnis (L), 2B
Chris Dickerson (L), LF
Michael Brantley (L), CF
Carlos Santana (S), 1B
Lonnie Chisenhall (L), 3B
Nick Swisher (S), DH
Yan Gomes, C
David Murphy (L), RF
Mike Aviles, SS

Danny Salazar, RHP

Twins (45-53)

Danny Santana (S), CF
Brian Dozier, 2B
Trevor Plouffe, 3B
Kendrys Morales (S), 1B
Josh Willingham, DH
Kurt Suzuki, C
Oswaldo Arcia (L), RF
Eduardo Escobar (S), SS
Sam Fuld (L), LF
Yohan Pino, RHP

-MASTER TESFATSION

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