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 try to hobble through the series finale against Baltimore

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: May 9, 2010 - 12:48 PM

There seems to be a point every season when the injures just keep coming.

The Twins starting middle infield of  second baseman Orlando Hudson and shortstop J.J. Hardy is out for today's game. Hudson tweaked his shoulder yesterday. Although he felt much better when he arrived at the park today, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire decided to keep him out of the starting lineup.

Hardy is still bothered by a sore left wrist, and acknowledged that if he doesn't improve by Tuesday he could wind up on the disabled list.

Reliever Pat Neshek said his right middle finger felt a lot better and that he might try to pick up a baseball in the next couple of days. It's while gripping the baseball when he feels the most pain.

Joe Mauer is in the lineup as the designated hitter today. He's wearing turf shoes with cleats attached to them to give his sore left heel a little more comfort, The Twins will cross their fingers when he runs the bases and tries to stop.

Even Jose Morales has had another setback during his rehab in the minors, injuring a hip while sliding into a base.

It will be interesting to see who will get healthy in time for Black and White week - series against the White Sox and Yankees.

There were a few guests around before the game. There was the Hastings family that Gardenhire has developed a friendship with - Logan and his father, Jeff, are both in the Army.

Gardenhire also spent some time talking with former Vikings coach and current CHICAGO BEARS ASSISTANT COACH  Mike Tice.

Tice also chatted up Joe Mauer before the game. Hope he didn't ask him to back up Jay Cutler. We don't need him.

By the way, anyone know how the Canucks are doing in the NHL playoffs these days?


Orioles (9-22)

!. Cesar Izturis, SS
2. Ty Wigginton, 2B
3. Nick Markakis, RF
4. Miguel Tejada, 3B
5. Matt Wieters,C
6. Luke Scott,DH
7. Adam Jones, CF
8. Garrett Atkins, 1B
9. Nolan Reimold, LF

RHP Brian Matusz

Twins (20-11)

1. Denard Span, CF
2. Nick Punto, 3B
3. Joe Mauer, DH
4. Justin Morneau, 1B
5. Michael Cuddyer, RF
6. Delmon Young, LF
7. Wilson Ramos, C
8. Brendan Harris, SS
9. Alexi Casilla, 2B

RHP Nick Blackburn



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