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Twins Insider

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

Milone on the mound as Twins look to take series in Boston

After 4 hours, 11 minutes of baseball last night, it sure feels like we never left Fenway Park. But we all are back here for the finale of this four-game series - a series the Twins can win.
That's because of their crazy 11-9 win last night in which they pounded out a season-high 19 hits, including seven between Eddie Rosario and Miguel Sano. The game began in a dust storm, Ricky Nolasco was knocked out of the game after two innings, Sano ignored a popup that landed in the infield for a hit, then the Twins stormed back In a place where it is hard to storm back in.
Even the end of the game was weird. Sano fielded a grounder, kissed the ball, then threw it to first for the final out.
I thought my mind was playing tricks on me, but Paul Molitor brought it up after the game.
``I don't know where the kiss-the-ball came from,'' Molitor said.
You can't make some of this stuff up.
Tommy Milone, who pitched 8.1 innings his last time out, starts opposite of Rick Porcello today. Kurt Suzuki is not expected to play after receiving stitches on his chin after taking a foul ball off his face ask in the second inning. Joe Mauer should be back in the lineup after getting a break on Saturday.
Boston sent down Heath Hembree after the game last night. Joe Kelly has been called up and will be in the bullpen today. We'll see who's available in the Twins bullpen today, because all hands were on deck last night.
The have a chance to win three of the four games here. Believe it or not, it would be the third time in the last five seasons that the Twins have won a four-game series here.

Kurt Suzuki admitted that his chin is still sore after a foul ball hit him in the mask last night and opened up a gash that required seven or eight stitches to close. He hopes to play on Tuesday, when the Twins open a six-game homestand. But the club is working on adding padding to the chin area of his mask to provide extra cushion. The stitches will come out in about 10 days.

Juan Centeno will start today behind the plate. Eduardo Escobar has his catching equipment in the tunnel to the dugout and is ready in an emergency role.

When Ricky Nolasco was knocked out of the game in the second inning, Saturday, discussions began in the dugout about calling up a reliever from Class AAA Rochester. They decided against it, but the bullpen is depleted for today's game. They could really use a long outing by Tommy Milone.

Ervin Santana went to the bullpen in the eighth inning Saturday, just in case he was need in extra innings. Today, Kyle Gibson is the emergency pitcher.


Eduardo Nunez, SS
Joe Mauer, 1B
Miguel Sano, 3B
Brian Dozier, 2B
Max Kepler, RF
Kennys Vargas, DH
Eddie Rosario, LF
Juan Centeno, C
Byron Buxton, CF

Tommy Milone, LHP

Red Sox

Brock Holt, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Hanley Ramirez, DH
Jackie Bradley, Jr., CF
Aaron Hill, 3B
Travis Shaw, 1B
Bryce Brentz, LF
Ryan Hanigan, C

Rick Porcello, RHP

Postgame: Stitches for Suzuki but no concussion

Three quick thoughts following the Twins' wild win over the Red Sox:

SUZUKI UPDATE: Catcher Kurt Suzuki took a foul ball off the chin of his mask in the second inning that opened up a gash on his chin. A bleeding Suzuki was taken out of the game. Manager Paul Molitor said Suzuki needed, ``eight or nine,'' stitches to close the wound. He's definitely out for Sunday's game. Juan Centeno will start, but he also took a foul ball during the game and was a little woozy. But he passed the concussion tests and remained in the game. Eduardo Escobar remains the emergency catcher. NOT JOE MAUER, so stop asking.

SANO CAPERS: Miguel Sano thought a pop up in the fourth inning was going to carry to left field. He gave up on it, but the wind kept it in the infield. Eduardo Nunez was shifted over at second base, and rushed over to try and make a play but couldn't get there. The Twins addressed the play with Sano.  ``Lesson learned,'' Molitor said, ``You put those in the memory bank when you make mistakes, and hopefully you avoid them in the future.'' 

VARGAS' WHEELS:     When Kennys Vargas blooped a double to left in the seventh inning, Molitor looked down his bench and saw Danny Santana, Eduardo Escobar and Joe Mauer. He considered pinch running for Vargas then but decided against it. ``Sure enough, we get a hit where speed is a factor,'' Molitor said. ``Eddie Rosario singled to center, and Vargas was waived home by third base coach Gene Glynn. Catcher Sandy Leon took the throw and appeared to tag Vargas out. The Twins challenged the call, and replays showed that Vargas reached around the tag and slapped home plate safely. ``Kennys maybe made the slide of his life,'' Molitor said.

BONUS: I have run into Twins fans all weekend. This morning, some fans asked me of Friday's win the best win of the year. I thought the game in Seattle when replays confirmed a game-ending double play was pretty exciting. Now we have Saturday's 11-9 win at Fenway. Your homework assignment is to present your top two or three wins of the season to this point. See you in a few hours!!!!