It's sunny and clear at Target Field, perfect baseball weather. If only it would stay that way.

    But forecasts make it clear that rain is coming, perhaps before first pitch, which means it could be a long night at the ballpark. Tonight is the Royals' final visit to Minneapolis, so both teams will want to wait as long as possible if it means getting the game in. The Royals would rather arrive in Denver later than scheduled tonight, in other words, than be forced to sacrifice a September off day to fly back and play a makeup game.

    The Twins' normal early batting practice, optional for most players, was made mandatory today, because earlier radar models suggested regular batting practice could be washed out, too. It wasn't, so the Twins cut the later session short by about 45 minutes, leaving the field empty when it's usually teeming with activity. The Royals will soon begin taking their round of BP.

    An off-and-on night would be bad news for Trevor May, too, since he needs to demonstrate that he can pitch at this level, that his nerves won't prevent him from throwing his fastball where he wants it. A 12.46 ERA in two appearances makes tonight's start important if May wants to finish the season with the Twins.

    He'll be opposed by left-hander Jason Vargas, a control pitcher with a 3.27 ERA who threw a three-hitter against the A's in his last start. Vargas will face a Twins' lineup with Kennys Vargas, no relation, in the cleanup spot, making tonight the first Vargas vs. Vargas matchup in major-league history.

    Here are the lineups for, cross your fingers, tonight's 7:10 p.m. start:



Aoki RF

Infante 2B

Perez C

Butler 1B

Gordon LF

Willingham DH

Moustakas 3B

Escobar SS

Dyson CF


Vargas LHP




Santana CF

Dozier 2B

Mauer 1B

Vargas DH

Arcia RF

Plouffe 3B

Parmelee LF

Fryer C

Escobar SS




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Matchup of promising pitchers in road-trip finale

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Postgame: Lots of late-inning home runs