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

Three Twins postgame thoughts from LEN3: May, Mauer, Hicks

Here are three thoughts following the Twins 4-3 win over the White Sox

LEAVE TREVOR MAY IN?: When the bullpen began warming up in the fifth inning on Saturday, my jaw dropped. Trevor May had just passed the 60-pitch mark, for goodness sakes, and looked to be in a groove. I didn't know at the time that manager Paul Molitor was worried about the declining fastball command. He said in spring training he wanted his starters to get used to going deeper in games, even close games. This flies against that mantra. So I have arrived at the conclusion that, after losing Friday (in a game they could have won) Molitor wanted this one badly to give his team a shot to win the series with Kyle Gibson on the mound. May said he had another 30 pitches in him but was fine with the decision.``We've got a good eighth inning (group) with Aaron Thompson and Blaine Boyer,'' he said. ``And Glen Perkins is 16-for-16 in saves. Those are weapons you've got to use.'' It worked out, and now we have Gibson versus Jose Quintana for the series tomorrow.

MAUER BENCHED: I didn't get this one either, but Molitor is looking at the big picture with Joe Mauer and decided to not start him Saturday despite him batting .338 against lefties and batting .296 against Chris Sale. Mauer told me he was ready to play Saturday but went with the manager's decision. The Twins had two off days this week and another coming up Thursday. Mauer won Wednesday's game with a homer then drove in a run with a double on Friday then stole third. He just might be getting hot. But, the Twins won with him just pinch hitting Saturday. I don't know. In a span of 20 hours, Molitor has pulled Phil Hughes with 89 pitches, pulled May with 80 and benched his No. 3 hitter. Is the job getting to him already? (I'm kidding).

HICKS CAN CLOSE ON A BASEBALL: For the second straight game Hicks made a dazzling outfield. In the eighth inning, Hicks was shaded toward left field when Adam Eaton drove a ball to the right-center gap. Hicks might have covered 40-50 yards before laying out and making an incredible catch and stopping a potential leadoff triple. ``I knew it was a close game and I tried to do my best to cut that thing down,'' Hicks said. ``I made the catch. Turned out to be good for the team.'' Friday night, he was shaded to right and had to go left to steal a hit from Carlos Sanchez. And he almost pulled in Adam LaRoche's drive in the second but his glove got caught under the fence padding. The Twins needed Hicks to get back up here.

Mauer not in starting lineup as Twins face White Sox ace

Twins manager Paul Molitor has trotted out his right-handed hitters against Sox ace lefty Chris Sale.

Joe Mauer is batting .338 against lefties - but is not in the lineup.

``I'm taking a big picture approach with Joe,'' Molitor said, later adding that Mauer will be in the lineup tomorrow.

Mauer is batting .296 against Sale and .391 against Jose Quintana, tomorrow's starter.

Mauer insisted before the game that he's fine.

``I told (Molitor) that I was ready to play,'' he said.

Mauer is available to pinch hit and expects to play tomorrow. It just seems strange that this is happening during a week with two scheduled off days.

First pitch probably won't be until 3:25, because the White Sox will retire Paul Konerko's No. 14 before the game. That will give you time to throw another burger on the grill.


Brian Dozier, 2B
Shane Robinson,. LF
Trevor Plouffe, 1B
Torii Hunter, RF
Kurt Suzuki, C
Eduardo Escobar, 3B
Eduardo Nunez, DH
Aaron Hicks, CF
Danny Santana. SS

Trevor May, RHP

White Sox

Adam Eaton, CF
Melky Cabrera, LF
Jose Abreu, 1B
Adam LaRoche, DH
Conor Gillaspie, 3B
Alexei Ramirez, SS
J.B. Shuck, RF
Tyler Flowers, C
Carlos Sanchez, 2B

Chris Sale, LHP

1:10 PM (FSN)
Minnesota 24-18
Chicago White Sox 19-21

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