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.
Trevor Plouffe will be starting at shortstop for the Twins tonight, as they open a new homestand and the start of interleague play against the Brewers.
Plouffe, 23, was the Twins' first-round pick in the 2004 draft. A career .256 hitter in the minors entering this year, he has really started to hit his stride. He was batting .303 with 11 doubles, three triples, four home runs and 38 RBI for Class AAA Rochester before getting promoted on Thursday.
This will be Plouffe's major league debut.
Carlos Gomez is in the starting lineup for the Brewers.
The Twins are riding their first three-game losing streak of the season. The last time they lost four straight was July 22-25, 2009.
For today's paper, I wrote about Milwaukee's combo of Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder, but maybe I should have written about Braun and Casey McGehee, who have combined for 67 RBI, more than any other duo in the majors. Braun has 30 RBI, and McGehee has 37. Fielder is off to a slow start, with 18 RBI.
Some more info from the Twins' pregame notes, since their top-notch media relations staff was kind enough to have these waiting for us in the press box:
* Jim Thome ranks 38th on the all-time RBI list with 1,581. With a few more, he'll be passing legends Al Kaline (1,583), Harmon Killebrew (1,584) and Rogers Hornsby (1,584).
* Twins starters posted a 6.52 ERA on their 2-5 road trip to New York, Toronto and Boston.
* Justin Morneau is one of two major leaguers batting above .350 with at least 10 home runs. The Dodgers' Andre Ethier (.392, 11 HR, 38 RBI) is the other.
Update: Alexi Casilla has been experiencing soreness in his right elbow and went for an MRI exam today. Might not have the results until Saturday.
1. Joe Inglett, 2B
2. Carlos Gomez, CF
3. Ryan Braun, LF
4. Prince Fielder, 1B
5. Casey McGehee, DH
6. Corey Hart, RF
7. Craig Counsell, 3B
8. George Kottaras, C
9. Alcides Escobar, SS
Starting pitcher: RH Dave Bush (1-4, 4.27 ERA)
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. Trevor Plouffe, SS
9. Nick Punto, 3B
Starting pitcher: RH Nick Blackburn (4-1, 4.63 ERA)
Target Field. First pitch: 7:10 p.m. TV: FSN. Twins Radio Network
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