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Twins Insider

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

Postgame: Buxton's bunting will take more time

Here are three thoughts following the Twins 6-5 loss to the White Sox

BUXTON AND BUNTING: The last two times Byron Buxton has attempted to bunt the results have been diastrous. Fans are grumbling about him being asked to bunt in the situation. But guess what? This is what development looks like. Players reach the majors with flaws and have to keep working on them. The big picture is that Buxtion learns how to bunt for one hit a week and gets his blazing speed on the basepaths more often. Buxton was out early today, working on bunting. The Twins had the pitching machine set up in front of the pitcher's mound and turned it up as fast as it could go. The problem is that still doesn't simulate game speed. ``You can crank up the machine to get a little more velocity and do some different things,'' Twins manager Paul Molitor said. ``But it's not one of those things you can practice movement at 95.'' Coco Crisp couldn't bunt when he first reached the majors. And Cleveland had him work on it over and over again until he became pretty reliable. Durng the first round of batting practice, Crisp was told to bunt all ten pitches. He made himself a good bunter. Buxton can too. It's not the end of the world in that regard. He's learning lessons in the majors and it might have cost the Twins a game tonight, but he's got to keep trying.

GROSSMAN IN LEFT: The tying run was scored when Tim Anderson raced home from second on Melky Cabrera's single to left. Robbie Grossman was in left field and got to the ball right before Anderson hit third base. That usually means the outfielder has a chance to throw out the runner with a good throw. The problem is, Grossman doesn't throw as well as the other Twins outfielders. He got got rid of the ball in a timely manner, but it lacked zip and took a couple bounces before reaching catcher Kurt Suzuki. Anderson slid in safely, and the game was tied and about to go into extra innings. That leads to a question: What wasn't Eddie Rosario in as a defensive replacement in the ninth?

DOZIER JUST MISSED IT: Brian Dozier can hit a fastball with the best of them. So you have to liike his chances when he dug in against Michael Ynoa - the former uber-hyped prospect that was signed by the A's for about $4 million but has done nothing. Dozier went after a 2-1 fastball that hit 95 on the gun and was just a little late. His sky-high popup ended the ninth and set up the White Sox to take the lead in the 10th. Dozier is not going to miss a fastball in a situation like that very often.

Polanco at DH, Sano sits in speedy Twins lineup vs. White Sox

Twins manager Paul Molitor doesn't want Jorge Polanco to waste on the bench during his latest stint in the majors. So Polanco today is the designated hitter in a lineup that is short on power but has plenty of speed.

Polanco was called up in the aftermath of Eduardo Nunez being dealt to San Francisco on Thursday.

Molitor indicated that he'll use Polanco at a variety of positions, including second, short and third. His arm and range are best suited for second, but Molitor said Polanco's arm looked OK when he played short during spring training. His defense at third - footwork, throws, etc. - has improved at third base.

Polanco has played 64 games at second at Class AAA Rochester, two at third and none at short. He started at third on Wednesday.

Miguel Sano is in a 2-for-14 skid with no walks and nine strikeouts over his last three games. Molitor thinks Sano is pressing at the plate and needs a day off.

Joe Mauer's next walk will be the 800th of his career.

Brian Dozier is batting .306 over his last 46 games.

Robbie Grossman is batting leadoff for just the second time this season. But this will be the 101st time in his career he's led off, the most of any spot in the order.

Danny Santana has never played third base in the majors and just twice in the minors. Once was this year while on a rehab assignment at Class A Fort Myers and 2010 with Class A Beloit.

So, yes, this is an interesting lineup.

Yahoo is reporting that the Rangers are doing their, `due diligence,' on Kurt Suzuki. Not sure if the Twins will part with Suzuki that easily. They don't have a catcher ready to step in, with John Ryan Murphy batting .213 at Rochester and the offseason free agent market not looking strong. Pittsburgh proactively extended Francisco Cervelli because of the lack of quality catching that will be on the market. Matt Wieters is a free agent, but Baltimore is expected to keep him. 

White Sox

Tim Anderson, SS
Tyler Saladino, 3B
Melky Cabrera, LF
Jose Abreu, 1B
Avisail Garcia, RF
The Former Twin, DH
Dionner Navarro, C
Carlos Sanchez, 2B
J.B. Shuck, CF

Miguel Gonzalez, RHP


Robbie Grossman, LF
Joe Mauer, 1B
Max Kepler, RF
Brian Dozier, 2B
Kurt Suzuki, C
Eduardo Escobar, SS
Jorge Polanco, DH
Danny Santana, 3B
Byron Buxton, CF

Tommy Milone, LHP