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-Red Sox pregame

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: March 23, 2010 - 3:47 PM

Twins lefthander Glen Perkins will miss a few days with a strained back. Perkins was working out at Hammond Stadium on Monday when he injured himself while lifting weights.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said Perkins is day-to-day, ``but will miss a few days.''
Bad timing for Perkins, who's trying to pitch his way onto the Twins' staff - or someone else's.
Keep in mind that Perkins still has an option left, so he could be sent down at the end of camp.

Gardenhire mentioned today that he likes the way Michael Cuddyer has run the ball down in center field, suggesting that he's comfortable with Cuddyer out there in a pinch. Cuddyer said that he sees the ball off the bat better in center than in right field.

The race between Alexi Casilla and Matt Tolbert for a bench spot was described by Gardenhire as, `neck-and-neck.' That's not good news for Tolbert because Casilla is out of options. And that could break the tie.

Pitchers Mark McLemore, Spencer Steedley, infielders James Beresford and Chris Cates and outfielder Dustin Martin are over as extra players.


Lineups

Boston

1. Marcuo Scutaro, SS
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. J.D. Drew, RF
4. Kevin Youkilis, 1B
5. David Ortiz, DH
6. Adrian Beltre, 3B
7. Jason Varitek, C
8. Jeremy Hazelbaker, LF
9. Che-Hsuan Lin, CF

Pitching: Clay Buchholz, Jonanthan Papelbon, Hideki Okajima, Daniel Bard, Manny Delcarmen.

Twins

1. Denard Span, CF
2. Orlando Hudson, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Justin Morneau, 1B
5. Michael Cuddyer, RF
6. Jason Kubel, DH
7. Delmon Young, LF
8. J.J. Hardy, SS
9.  Nick Punto, 3B

RHP Carl Pavano, followed by Matt Guerrier, Pat Neshek and Jesse Crain.

First pitch, 6:05 p.m.

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