Phil Miller covered three seasons of Twins baseball, but that was at a different ballpark for a different newspaper. Now Miller returns to the baseball beat after joining the Star Tribune as the Gopher football writer in 2010, and he won't miss the dingy dome for a minute. In addition to the Twins and Gophers, Miller covered the Utah Jazz and the NBA for six years at The Salt Lake Tribune.
ANAHEIM, CALIF. -- Checked with Twins second baseman Orlando Hudson after Monday night's game. He said Kevin Jepsen's pitch got him on the right kneecap, but after grimacing in obvious pain, he stayed in the game and doesn't plan to miss tonight.
The Twins will try to bounce back from a 6-3 loss to the Angels, as RHP Nick Blackburn opposes Angels LHP Joe Saunders. It'll be interesting to see how the Twins stack up against a lefthander. Look for Brendan Harris to get the start at third base over Nick Punto.
Scott Baker (4.2 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 1 HR), Jose Mijares (0.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 2 HR) and Denard Span (0-for-5, 3 K) had tough 2010 debuts, but there were a couple bright spots for the Twins:
* Jesse Crain retired all five batters he faced in relief of Baker. Spoke to Crain after the game and he talked about a mechanical adjustment pitching coach Rick Anderson helped him make this spring. Crain said he's simply more comfortable on the mound, which is a good sign for the Twins.
* Delmon Young, who shed 30 pounds over the winter, showed power and speed. His two-run homer in the second inning was a big lift for the Twins because it came with two outs and to that point, all they'd managed off Jered Weaver was an 80-foot single by Justin Morneau.
Young reached on an infield single in the fifth inning, stole second base and scored on Nick Punto's sacrifice fly. (That inning also included a good at-bat by J.J. Hardy, who fought off a two-strike pitch to move Young to third base with one out.)
Young now has 23 home runs as a Twin. In 2008, his first year with the team, he didn’t hit his first homer until June 7. Last year he homered on April 12 but didn’t homer again until June 20.
As for speed, Young stole just two bases last year, but that's partly because his ankle was still bothering him from a 2008 injury and partly because he was overweight. Keep in mind, Young stole 31 bases in two minor league stops in 2005.
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