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.

Hardy returns, Tolbert lands on DL and Twins stack their lineup

Posted by: Phil Miller under Twins game coverage Updated: July 3, 2010 - 1:43 PM

After winning Friday night's game with only four hits, the Twins take aim at Rays righthander Wade Davis this afternoon on a hot, sweaty day at Target Field.

Overcoming David Price on Friday was impressive, with Scott Baker pitching seven strong innings. Like Nick Blackburn and Kevin Slowey earlier on the homestand, Baker put his recent struggles behind him. Jon Rauch had another dicey ninth inning but got the job done.

The Twins are expected to activate J.J. Hardy from the disabled list for today's game, and Matt Tolbert is likely headed to the DL with an injured right middle finger. Maybe it's just a coincidence, but the Twins are 24-11 with Hardy in the lineup and 20-25 with anyone else at shortstop.

I'll have updates on that roster decision and the lineups ASAP.

Update: The Twins placed Tolbert on the DL, making room for Hardy, who is back in the lineup.

After tossing three scoreless innings for Class A Fort Myers on Friday, reliever Clay Condrey will move to Class AAA Rochester, continuing his rehab from a right elbow injury.

Update: Rauch has pitched in three games in a row. Gardenhire said Rauch will probably say he's good to go today, but pitching coach Rick Anderson might decide to use someone else if there's a save situation.

On Thursday, Gardenhire said he wouldn't be afraid to use Brian Duensing if Rauch wasn't available, but Duensing has pitched in four games in a row himself and probably won't pitch today either.

Gardenhire said there was no set plan for how he's going to handle third base moving forward. Danny Valencia looked good against the lefthanded Price on Friday, so he might keep getting chances against lefthanders. But if the Twins aren't going to give him those starts, they might send him back to Rochester to play.

RAYS (46-33)

1. Sean Rodriguez, 2B
2. Carl Crawford, LF
3. Evan Longoria, 3B
4. Willy Aybar, DH
5. Kelly Shoppach, C
6. B.J. Upton, CF
7. Ben Zobrist, 1B
8. Gabe Kapler, RF
9. Jason Bartlett, SS

Starting pitcher: RH Wade Davis (5-9, 4.68 ERA)

TWINS (44-36)

1. Denard Span, CF
2. Orlando Hudson, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Justin Morneau, 1B
5. Jason Kubel, RF
6. Michael Cuddyer, 3B
7. Jim Thome, DH
8. Delmon Young, LF
9. J.J. Hardy, SS

Starting pitcher: LH Francisco Liriano (6-6, 3.47 ERA)

Target Field. First pitch: 3:10 p.m. TV: Fox (Ch. 9). Twins Radio Network

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