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.

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.

Twins-Tigers pregame

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: May 3, 2010 - 6:08 PM

Joe Mauer apparently spent Monday treating  his briused left heel, because he was never seen in the clubhouse before the game.

``He's still sore today but he's better than yesterday,'' Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.  ``

It's unlikely Mauer will play in this three-game series. Gardenhire tried to be coy, wanting to keep the opposition guessing, but said they don't want to risk rushing Mauer back into action and see him aggravate the injury.

Wilson Ramos is behind the plate for a second straight day.

Lefthander Jose Mijares threw in the bullpen this afternoon and came through fine. Gardenhire also praised Mijares' conditioning work. The plan is to have Mijares throw in the bullpen one more time then send him out on a minor legaue rehabiliation assignment,

Nick Blackburn is back from his family medical emergency and will start tomorrow. Jeff Manship is available out of thebullpen today but will be sent to Class AAA Rochester after the game to make room for Blackburn.

When asked about Scott Baker's walks, Gardenhire said; ``It was April. Heard a lot about April and his slow starts. We're going to turn it around and be fine in May.''

Keep an eye on the Cubs spring training situation in Arizona. The state legislature adjourned without a deal to upgrade their stadium in Mesa, and Florida - namely Naples - is expected to look harder into bringing the Cubs east.

Detroit (16-10)

1. Austin Jackson, CF
2. Johnny Damon, DH
3. Maglio Ordonez, RF
4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
5. Brennan Boesch, LF
6. Brandon Inge, 3B
7. Ryan Raburn, 2B
8. Gerald Laird, C
9. Ramon Santiago, SS

RHP Max Scherzer (1-1, 4.23)

Twins (16-9)

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

Scott Baker (2-2,5.72)



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