TORONTO -- This is my first visit to Rogers Centre (aka SkyDome) since 2004, when I was covering the Orioles for the Baltimore Sun. No special reason, other than that's how it always shook out when La Velle and I split up the schedule.
It's pretty hot and steamy here today. The roof was closed for early batting practice, but they'll open it closer to game time.
Was told the turf here plays pretty true. I'd wondered if it was a hard surface, like the Metrodome's, if that would make the Twins less likely to keep Michael Cuddyer at third base. Cuddyer has good numbers off tonight's starter for Toronto, Jesse Litsch (4-for-7 with 1 HR).
I know everyone wants the latest Cliff Lee rumors. I haven't heard anything new. Here's the latest from La Velle. I'll be back with the lineups ASAP.
Update: Nick Punto is getting the start at shortstop with J.J. Hardy on the bench. Punto is 3-for-8 for his career against Litsch.
Update: Manager Ron Gardenhire said he wants to get Punto back into the lineup after sitting the final two games against Tampa Bay last weekend. Hardy has had no new problems with his left wrist. The Blue Jays have lefthanded pitchers going the next two days, so look for Hardy to play both of those.
Gardenhire did say he'll likely give Jim Thome a break during this series so he doesn't play on turf for three games, and it's possible Denard Span will get a day off, too, allowing Jason Repko to play center field.
1. Denard Span, CF
2. Orlando Hudson, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Justin Morneau, 1B
5. Jason Kubel, RF
6. Michael Cuddyer, 3B
7. Jim Thome, DH
8. Delmon Young, LF
9. Nick Punto, SS
Starting pitcher: RH Carl Pavano (9-6, 3.30 ERA)
BLUE JAYS (41-42)
1. Fred Lewis, LF
2. Dewayne Wise, CF
3. Alex Gonzalez, SS
4. Jose Bautista, RF
5. Adam Lind, DH
6. John Buck, C
7. Lyle Overbay, 1B
8. Edwin Encarnacion, 3B
9. Nick Green, 2B
Starting pitcher: RH Jesse Litsch (0-3, 6.98 ERA)
Rogers Centre. First pitch: 6:07 p.m. TV: FSN. Twins Radio Network