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

Twins/Boston underway after delay

    The Twins have won 10 of their last 12 games in Target Field, so they would really like to keep that momentum. The rainy weather that has enveloped the Twin Cities all day makes that a challenge tonight, however.

    It’s still raining at the ballpark, and radar shows it won’t stop for awhile. The second of three games with the Red Sox won’t start at 7:10 p.m. as scheduled, the Twins have already determined, but the team’s forecasters (and those at the National Weather Service) tell them the rain will let up enough to get the game in tonight.

    Both teams would prefer getting the game in, especially the Red Sox, who are scheduled to fly to Texas immediately after tomorrow’s afternoon game for a four-game series with the Rangers. So there is little appetite for a day-night doubleheader on Wednesday.

    The grounds crew has occasionally mopped the standing water off the tarp, and there are no puddles in evidence except on the warning track. The gates have opened, so the team clearly intends to wait out the weather.

    That will make things difficult for scheduled starters Mike Pelfrey and Clay Buchholz, who won’t want to prepare to pitch and then sit around. And the prospect of mid-game delays will be a challenge, too; Twins manager Paul Molitor says he has talked with pitching coach Neil Allen about sending a starter back to the mound after a long delay, but he said he has no set time limit in mind.

    If they play, Torii Hunter will serve as the designated hitter, the same position as his old teammate, David Ortiz, for Boston. Here are the lineups for tonight’s game:

RED SOX

 

Pedroia 2B

Betts CF

Sandoval 3B

Ramirez LF

Ortiz DH

Napoli 1B

Bogaerts SS

Castillo RF

Leon C

 

Buchholz RHP

 

TWINS

 

Dozier 2B

Hunter DH

Mauer 1B

Plouffe 3B

Suzuki C

Escobar LF

Rosario RF

Hicks CF

Santana SS

 

Pelfrey RHP

Postgame: Nolasco rethinks first-pitch approach

    Three left-overs from a Memorial Day matinee:

    — The Twins preach first-pitch strikes, and Ricky Nolasco is one of the biggest proponents. But Nolasco said a change of strategy helped him against the Red Sox on Monday.

    “Normally, you go out there and challenge [hitters], but I tried that the past couple of starts,” with so-so results, Nolasco said. “I know the scouting report on me is [to] swing early because I’m going to be throwing a lot of strikes.”

    But Nolasco said he was just laying fastballs in the strike zone, in hopes of getting ahead in the count, unchallenged. “I’m thinking, free strike. But guys have been coming out swinging [at the] first-pitch fastball.”

    His solution: focus on making the first pitch good, but not too good. He had only14 first-pitch strikes against 29 batters, and he used sliders and curveballs rather than fastballs. “You can be more aggressive, but guys have been swinging on me while I’m trying to be aggressive. [So I’m] just making a conscious effort to make a better pitch so guys can’t ambush me,” he said.

    — The Twins piled up 16 hits in one game Monday, or five more than the 11 they managed during the entire three-game series the last time they played Boston, last July in Fenway Park. They also scored more runs in the first two innings (seven) than they had in the previous 37 innings (six) against the Red Sox.

    — Manager Paul Molitor was especially pleased with the first inning of Monday’s game. The first two Red Sox hitters singled, but Nolasco got David Ortiz to fly out and Hanley Ramirez to hit into a 5-4-3 double play. Then Brian Dozier led off the Twins’ hand with a bloop double to left, moved up a base on Torii Hunter’s ground out to second, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Joe Mauer. “We come out of the top half unscathed, and we come back and have some good at-bats to manufacture a run,” Molitor said.

Bottom 4th R H E
Boston 21-24 1 4 0
Minnesota 26-18 2 3 0

Today's Scoreboard

< >
  • Houston

    Baltimore

     

    - F

    4

    1

  • Washington

    Chicago Cubs

     

    - F

    2

    3

  • Kansas City

    NY Yankees

     

    - F

    1

    5

  • Miami

    Pittsburgh

     

    - F

    1

    5

  • Chicago White Sox

    Toronto

     

    - F

    9

    10

  • Colorado

    Cincinnati

     

    - F

    1

    2

  • Texas

    Cleveland

     

    - Bot 9th

    4

    3

  • Philadelphia

    NY Mets

     

    - F

    4

    5

  • Seattle

    Tampa Bay

     

    - Bot 10th

    7

    6

  • San Francisco

    Milwaukee

     

    - Top 9th

    6

    3

  • Boston

    Minnesota

     

    - Bot 5th

    1

    2

  • Arizona

    St. Louis

     

    - Top 9th

    4

    6

  • San Diego

    LA Angels

     

    - Top 4th

    0

    0

  • Detroit

    Oakland

     

    - Bot 3rd

    1

    0

  • Atlanta

    LA Dodgers

     

    - Top 4th

    0

    0

  • NY Rangers

    Tampa Bay

     

    - F

    7

    3

  • Atlanta

    Cleveland

     

    - F

    88

    118

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