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

It's May vs. Buehrle after rain delay at Target Field

    Radar shows more showers headed toward Target Field, where it’s rained steadily for much of the afternoon. The Twins are optimistic that, like Tuesday, there is a window of clear weather later tonight that would allow them to get tonight’s game in. And if they do play, they’ve got the right pitchers going: Trevor May, the Twins’ starter, has started six games this season that lasted less than three hours. And Toronto is starting Mark Buehrle, who has pitched four games this season that lasted less than 2 1/2 hours.

    No pitcher in major-league history has won more games against the Twins (29) than Buehrle, so that’s a reason to be apprehensive about his start tonight, as the Blue Jays open a three-game series in Target Field. On the other hand, no pitcher has allowed more hits to the Twins than Buehrle (366), and if the Twins beat the veteran left-hander, he’ll be tied with Joe Horlen and Frank Tanana for the most losses ever to the Twins, too.

    The longtime White Sox left-hander hasn’t faced Minnesota in almost two years, but the Twins know what to expect: A pitcher who works exceptionally fast, and is about as unpredictable as a pitcher can be. You have to do something to last so long, after all.

    “He doesn’t overpower you. But he doesn’t make as many mistakes as young guys,” said Brian Dozier. “Not just leaving pitches over the plate, but he pitches backwards a lot. A lot of off-speed on hitters’ counts — he’s good at tricking the hitters.”

    Of all the pitchers he’s faced in his career, Torii Hunter has faced Buehrle more than any other — 94 plate appearances. (Buehrle has faced only one batter more frequently than Hunter: former Twin Michael Cuddyer, 117 plate appearances). And Hunter says all that experience benefits Buehrle, not him. “The pitchers always has the advantage, in everything you do,” Hunter said. “I’ve hit him pretty hard. I’m not saying I got hits, but I’ve hit balls hard against him. And we’ve had some good battles.”

    Hunter is batting .247 all-time against the lefty; oddly, he’s never drawn a walk against Buehrle.

    Does his fast pace bother hitters? Not as much as you’d think, Dozier said. “I like guys who work fast. It keeps the thinking out of it,” Dozier said. “But that’s his game, so in certain situations, you have to force him to slow down. If he gets in a rhythm, especially.”

    Here are tonight’s lineups for the Twins’ first game as a first-place team since April 8, 2013:

 

BLUE JAYS

 

Reyes SS

Donaldson 3B

Bautista DH

Encarnacion 1B

Martin C

Colabello LF

Carrera RF

Pillar CF

Goins 2B

 

Buehrle LHP

 

TWINS

 

Dozier 2B

Robinson LF

Mauer 1B

Plouffe 3B

Hunter RF

Suzuki C

Escobar DH

Hicks CF

Santana SS

 

May RHP

Twins activate Fien, send down Tonkin

The Twins have reinstated righthander Casey Fien from the 15-day disabled list, and he will be available tonight when the Twins face Toronto.

Fien, 1-2 with a 4.35 ERA, had missed 25 games with a shoulder strain.

To make room for Fien, the Twins optioned righthander Michael Tonkin to Class AAA Rochester. Tonkin gave up four earned runs over seven innings.

Rain is in the area, and the start of tonight's game could be delayed. But folks at the ballpark expect the game to eventually be played.

Bottom 1st R H E
Toronto 22-27 0 2 0
Minnesota 28-18 0 0 0

Today's Scoreboard

< >
  • Kansas City

    Chicago Cubs

     

    - F

    8

    4

  • Tampa Bay

    Baltimore

     

    - Top 9th

    1

    1

  • Colorado

    Philadelphia

     

    - Top 9th

    4

    0

  • Washington

    Cincinnati

     

    - Top 7th

    2

    4

  • Miami

    NY Mets

     

    - F

    4

    3

  • Boston

    Texas

     

    - Top 5th

    2

    3

  • Chicago White Sox

    Houston

     

    - Bot 4th

    1

    0

  • Arizona

    Milwaukee

     

    - Top 5th

    3

    3

  • Toronto

    Minnesota

     

    - Bot 1st

    0

    1

  • LA Dodgers

    St. Louis

     

    - Bot 4th

    0

    2

  • Detroit

    LA Angels

    9:05 PM

  • NY Yankees

    Oakland

    9:05 PM

  • Pittsburgh

    San Diego

    9:10 PM

  • Cleveland

    Seattle

    9:10 PM

  • Atlanta

    San Francisco

    9:15 PM

  • Tampa Bay

    NY Rangers

     

    - 2nd, 9:08

    0

    0

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