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La Velle E. Neal III and Phil Miller report on the Twins from wherever they make news

Milone to be recalled, will start Thursday's game

    BOSTON — Tommy Milone will rejoin the Twins today, but it’s possible his stay will last only one day.

    Milone will start Thursday’s game against the Red Sox, helping ease the pitching shortage caused by today’s doubleheader. That pushes Kyle Gibson’s start back to Friday, in the opener of a three-game series with Milwaukee at Target Field.

    Using a left-hander in Fenway Park was appealing, Molitor said, even though Milone’s experience in this park is dismal — in two starts, both with the A’s, Milone has pitched a total of 8 2/3 innings and allowed 13 runs, a 13.50 ERA. But the 28-year-old has been terrific since being sent to Class AAA Rochester last month, going 4-0 with a 0.70 ERA (he’s allowed three runs in 38 2/3 innings) in five starts.

    Still, Molitor said the “best case” is that Milone makes only one start, because it would mean that Ricky Nolasco is healthy. Nolasco will test his sore right ankle on Thursday, and the manager said he’s been told “it’s 50-50” whether he can avoid a second stint on the disabled list, after missing three weeks in April with elbow irritation.

    If Nolasco is able to pitch, he will start Saturday’s game against the Brewers; if not, the Twins may try to get by with a bullpen game, presumably started by J.R. Graham. In that case, they will have to option another player, almost certainly a relief pitcher, to make room for Milone; that pitcher would not be eligible to be recalled to the majors for 10 days.

    As for today, the Twins will start Phil Hughes against Red Sox rookie Eduardo Rodriguez in the 12:35 p.m. (CDT) game, and Trevor May against Rick Porcello tonight.

    The Twins are doing something rarely seen anymore — they’re taking batting practice before a doubleheader. That’s because they’ve been able to hit outside only twice in 11 days, and Molitor said “it felt like we hadn’t played in days” at the start of Tuesday’s game. He’s trying to get his team moving around, energized, in hopes they can end their Fenway shutout streak — they’ve scored only two runs in their last four games here over the past two seasons — with a few runs today.

    Here are the lineups for today’s first game:

TWINS

 

Dozier 2B

Robinson LF

Plouffe 1B

Hunter RF

Suzuki C

Escobar 3B

Nunez DH

Hicks CF

Santana SS

 

Hughes RHP

 

RED SOX

 

Pedroia 2B

Betts CF

Ortiz DH

Ramirez LF

Napoli 1B

Holt 3B

Bogaerts SS

Leon C

Castillo RF

 

Rodriguez LHP

Postgame: Hicks hit his blast to wrong part of the field

    A handful of leftovers from yet another run-starved game in Boston:

    — Aaron Hicks has played five games in Fenway Park and has never faced a left-handed pitcher. So he knows how big right field is at Fenway Park, the deepest part of the ballpark. It’s also part of the reason he’s now 3-for-15 in Boston. “It’s their style of pitching. They pitch you in, and once you pull the ball, it’s going to the deepest part,” Hicks said. That’s what Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz did to him Tuesday, he said. “He was throwing a lot of off-speed pitches, trying to get me out front,” Hicks said. “Then late in the count, bust me inside with fastballs.” Still, Hicks nearly made the strategy fail, clobbering a fastball leading off the eighth that would have landed in the Twins’ bullpen if Rusney Castillo hadn’t reached over the wall to bring it back.

    — Mike Pelfrey is enjoying one of the best stretches of his career, and certainly his best as a Twin. Pelfrey allowed just one run over seven innings on Tuesday, the third straight start he’s given up just one. It’s also his sixth quality start of the season, tying Kyle Gibson for the most on the Twins. Yet he fell to 4-2 after taking the 1-0 loss. He complimented the Twins’ defense afterward, citing a handful of great plays. Danny Santana helped snuff a second-inning threat by making a perfect throw to the plate while on the run, getting Pablo Sandoval trying to score. Brian Dozier also made a diving stop for an out, and a sliding stop to turn a grounder into a double play. And Eddie Rosario made a running catch in left field. “I only struck out one guy in seven innings, so these boys had to get 20 outs behind me,” Pelfrey said. “They played great defense. It’s always needed.”

    — Also of note, especially to writers on deadline: The game lasted just 2:21, easily the fastest of Pelfrey’s Twins career. In fact, it was 12 minutes quicker than his previous best as a Twin, and ranked among the five fastest games in his 197-game career.

    — Lost in the lack of offense was Torii Hunter extending his hitting streak to 10 games, the 20th streak of his career that long. Hunter also had a 14-game hitting streak for Detroit last season. His career-longest was a 23-game streak back in 2007, his final season of his first stint with the Twins. Hunter also played his 1,270th career game with Minnesota, moving him past Justin Morneau for eighth=most in franchise history.

6:10 PM (FSN)
Minnesota 30-20
Boston 23-29

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