La Velle E. Neal III has covered baseball for the Star Tribune since 1998 (the post-Knoblauch era). Born and raised in Chicago, he grew up following the White Sox and hating the Cubs. He attended both the University of Illinois and Illinois-Chicago and began his baseball writing career at the Kansas City Star. He can be heard occasionally on KFAN radio, lending his great baseball mind to Paul Allen and other hosts. Mark Rosen borrows him occasionally for WCCO-TV.

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.

Did the Twins save any hits for today's finale?

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: July 28, 2010 - 1:43 PM


According to  the Elias Sports Bureau, the Twins are just the third team in over 100 years to haved scored at least 10 runs on at least 19 hits in three straight games. The others: the 1933 New York Giants and the 1928 Pirates.

Danny Valencia is the first Twins rookie ever to have back-to-back four hit games. He also has had four straight games of at least three hits. The last rookie to do that was San Francisco's Jim Davenport in 1958, according to Elias.

Valencia is 14 for his last 19. That's sick.

Jim Thome is a career .346 hitter against Brian Bannister but is not in the lineup because his back is acting up a little. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said the hotel beds haven't been good for Thome's back.

J.J. Hardy isn't in the lineup either, as Gardy is starting Nick Punto there today.

Gardy will get a better idea of where Justin Morneau is with his rehab on Friday. Morneau has been out with a concussion. And Matt Tolbert has  made little progress with his bruised finger,

The Royals have sent righthander Victor Marte to Class AAA Omaha and have called up former No.1 overall pick Brian Bullington. Bullington was drafted by the Pirates but has since played for Cleveland and Toronto before signing with KC. His career record: 0-6.

Twins have a chance to go 10 games over .500 for the first time since May 22. That's the game where they led 3-0 in the first inning against the Brewers but lost that game and then five of their next six,

Twins (55-46)

1. Denard Span, CF
2. Alexi Casilla, 2BS
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Delmon Young, LF
5. Jason Kubel, DH
6. Michael Cuddyer, 1B
7. Danny Valencia,3B
8. Jason Repko, RF
9. Nick Punto, SS

Brian Duensing, LHP

Royals (42-58)

1. Scott Podsednik, LF
2. Willie Bloomquist, RF
3. Billy Butler, 1B
4. Jose Guillen, DH
5. Wilson Betemit, 3B
6. Mike Aviles, 2B
7. Rick Ankiel, CF
8. Brayan Pena, C
9. Yuniesky Betancourt, SS

Brian Bannister, RHP


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