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 set to face old friend Johan Santana

Posted by: Phil Miller under Twins game coverage, On the road Updated: June 26, 2010 - 1:44 PM

NEW YORK -- Manager Ron Gardenhire hinted that the Twins will try a few subtle tricks to get into Johan Santana's head today. It won't be as obvious as it was this spring in Port St. Lucie, Fla., when the Twins coaches stepped into the on-deck circle, pretending they wanted an at-bat against their old friend.

"I'm sure there will be eye contact, which we always get with him," Gardenhire said. "We know all the lines that make him laugh. We know all the ones we said in the clubhouse. So, he'll hear them. But when it's all said and done, he's a competitor on the field."

The Twins are in their longest losing streak of the season, and they'll counter Santana with Carl Pavano, who is coming off an absolute gem last Sunday in Philadelphia, opposite Roy Halladay.

The Twins were still waiting to decide whether to activate Jose Mijares from the restricted list. He wasn't able to throw while in Venezuela, so they wanted to see how he looked in a pregame bullpen session.

Update: Gardenhire said the Twins hope Nick Blackburn can come out of his recent rut in his next start, Tuesday against the Tigers, since it falls at home. Blackburn is 4-0 with a 3.19 ERA at home, compared to 2-5 with a 9.40 ERA on the road.

Update: The Twins just announced that they have activated Mijares and optioned Jeff Manship to Rochester.

Update: With the July 31 trade deadline approaching, the Twins are viewed as one of the favorites to acquire Mariners lefthander Cliff Lee, and they've also explored a trade for Astros righthander Roy Oswalt. Lee can become a free agent after the season, and Oswalt is under contract through 2011, with an option for 2012.

Asked in general about the Twins trade philosophy now that they've moved into Target Field, Gardenhire said, "This organization’s pretty set in its ways about not ever giving up your system for a rental, as they say.

"We haven’t done that in the past, and I wouldn’t think they would be leaning that way now. But things happen, and because of the new ballpark, we’re finding a situation where we’re selling out every ballgame and there is probably a little more [money] than there has been in the past. But it still goes with the philosophy of the organization and that’s develop and bring these guys to the big leagues -- and that’s never going to change here, I don’t believe."

TWINS (40-33)

1. Denard Span, CF
2. Orlando Hudson, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Justin Morneau, 1B
5. Michael Cuddyer, 3B
6. Jason Kubel, RF
7. Delmon Young, LF
8. Nick Punto, SS
9. Carl Pavano, P (8-6, 3.64 ERA)

METS (42-31)

1. Jose Reyes, SS
2. Jesus Feliciano, CF
3. David Wright, 3B
4. Ike Davis, 1B
5. Jason Bay, LF
6. Rod Barajas, C
7. Jeff Francoeur, RF
8. Alex Cora, 2B (corrected)
9. Johan Santana, P (5-4, 3.31 ERA)

Citi Field. First pitch: 12:10 p.m. (Central). FSN. Twins Radio Network.

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