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 send Slowey to mound for rubber match against Atlanta

Posted by: Phil Miller under Twins game coverage Updated: June 13, 2010 - 1:27 PM

Sunday mornings at home give the Twins a chance to let their sons and daughters hit Target Field for early BP, and there's some obvious talent out there on the diamond right now.

Call it a preview of the 2026 draft. I'm sure Twins VP of Player Personnel Mike Radcliff is tucked away somewhere with his visor and a stopwatch, bearing down on baseball's future talent pool.

Cole Nathan, 5, is an obvious talent. Owen Kubel, 2, has a firm grip on the bat.

Another to keep an eye on: Casey Cuddyer, who turns 2 next Sunday. He definitely has the arm, though I saw him kicking the baseball around like a soccer ball, so he might be another one of those two- or three-sport stars like his dad, who has a big decision to make.

Check back soon for the starting lineups.

Update: Denard Span is getting a day off. No injury concerns, but he's started all 62 games, and with a day off Monday, this is a chance to get him two days of rest. Nick Punto slides into the leadoff spot, and Michael Cuddyer is in center field.

Orlando Hudson feels better batting righthanded than lefthanded but the switch-hitter is still aiming toward being activated from the DL on Tuesday.

Update: The Twins have now signed eight of their 2010 draft picks. The list includes C Kyle Knudson (9th round), SS Andy Leer (25th), 1B Brian Burke (29th), LHP Justin Parker (33rd), RHP Kyle Necke (34th), RHP Nick Alloway (35th), LHP Bart Carter (39th), LHP Sam Spangler (41st), LHP David Deminsky (44th).

Update: According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Saturday's suicide squeeze bunt by Brooks Conrad marked just the third time this season an MLB game was decided by a successful squeeze in the ninth inning or later. The others to pull off game-winning squeeze bunts are the Angels' Howie Kendrick and the Rays' Jason Bartlett. (That item was found in the Braves game notes).

I don't know much about Kris Medlen, but for what it's worth, the Braves are 5-1 in his starts. He's 24 and was the Braves' 10th-round pick in the 2006 draft. He posted a 2.80 ERA last year in 26 relief appearances for Atlanta after the All-Star break. Righthanders are batting .298 against Medlen and lefties are batting .269.

Update: Pitching coach Rick Anderson is attending his daughter's high school graduation today, so Manager Ron Gardenhire made a first-inning visit to the mound.

BRAVES (36-27)

1. Martin Prado, 2B
2. Brooks Conrad, 3B
3. Jason Heyward, RF
4. Brian McCann, C
5. Troy Glaus, 1B
6. Eric Hinske, DH
7. Yunel Escobar, SS
8. Melky Cabrera, LF
9. Gregor Blanco, CF

Starting pitcher: RH Kris Medlen (3-1, 3.21 ERA)

TWINS (36-26)

1. Nick Punto, 2B
2. Trevor Plouffe, SS
3. Joe Mauer, DH
4. Justin Morneau, 1B
5. Michael Cuddyer, CF
6. Jason Kubel, RF
7. Delmon Young, LF
8. Brendan Harris, 3B
9. Drew Butera, C

Starting pitcher: RH Kevin Slowey (7-3, 3.45 ERA)

Target Field. First pitch: 1:10 p.m. TV: Ch. 29 (WFTC). Twins Radio Network

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