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.

Brewers send ace to the mound for Saturday's game against Twins

Posted by: Phil Miller under Twins game coverage Updated: May 22, 2010 - 1:44 PM

The Brewers' pitching staff is a mess, but they'll send their ace to the mound today, trying to bounce back from Friday's 15-3 loss to the Twins.

Righthander Yovani Gallardo is 4-0 with a 1.76 ERA in his past seven starts with 51 strikeouts in 41 innings. He has walked 25 batters in that span, however, so the scouting report for the Twins probably says to make him throw strikes.

This will be Gallardo's first game against the Twins.

Another chance for Kevin Slowey to turn things around. As has been well documented, he has completed the sixth inning in just one of his eight starts. That has to be eating at him. Then again, the Twins have won five of his eight starts, and at 5-3, he has a decision in every one of them.

Interleague play has been good to Slowey. he's 7-2 with a 3.03 ERA in 11 career starts against the National League, including 3-0 with a 2.43 ERA against the Brewers.

It's currently raining at Target Field (11:25 a.m.), but the forecast says it's supposed to get windy and clear up, with a high near 80 degrees by the first pitch, at 3:10 p.m.

Update: Manager Ron Gardenhire remains hopeful that J.J. Hardy will be ready to return on Tuesday. Sounds like Trevor Plouffe will get the starts at shortstop until Hardy returns.

Pat Neshek and Clay Condrey will each throw again Sunday after reporting no difficulty in their Friday throwing sessions. ... Gardenhire said he will check to see how Joe Mauer feels on Sunday morning before deciding whether to start him against lefthander Manny Parra. With an off day Monday, a day off Sunday would give Mauer two days of rest before the Yankees series on Tuesday. ... Joe Nathan had a very good check-up in New York and is progressing well in his recovery from Tommy John surgery.

Gardenhire said Carlos Gomez does not have to apologize to the Twins for Friday's showboating.

"I don’t worry about that stuff," Gardenhire said. "GoGo, you know what, he’s one of my favorites. It’s just one of those moments that we know GoGo can have. He’s excited. It just happened, and I think everybody out in the clubhouse, yeah we were a little fired up about it, but when it’s all said and done, we like this kid a lot.

"We know what he brought to us here. If it were somebody else, it might be a little different, but with GoGo, we live with it. He plays with a passion that not a lot of people do, so he doesn’t have to apologize to me. I know what he’s all about. I know that’s him."

Update: Tarp is off. Weather is warming. Windows are opening in the press box. Ahhhh, life is good.

BREWERS (16-26)

1. Rickie Weeks, 2B
2. Carlos Gomez, CF
3. Ryan Braun, DH
4. Prince Fielder, 1B
5. Casey McGehee, 3B
6. Corey Hart, RF
7. Joe Inglett, LF
8. Alcides Escobar, SS
9. George Kottaras, C

Starting pitcher: RH Yovani Gallardo (4-2, 2.89 ERA)

TWINS (25-17)

Lineup Rule No. 1: If it's not broken, don't fix it.

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 Kevin Slowey (5-3, 4.70 ERA)

Target Field. First pitch: 3:10 p.m. TV: FSN/MLB Network (where not blacked out). Twins Radio Network.

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