It’s a gorgeous night for a game at Target Field. A football game, I mean.

    Actually, now that the rain has passed, the 55 degree weather is a nice change from the normal August heat — as long as it’s only temporary. (We’re back to the high 70s tomorrow, I’m told.) It’s almost too bad the Twins couldn’t market a night like this ahead of time: Sweather Weather Night, or Fall Preview Night, something like that.

    The Twins haven’t generated much heat on the field lately, especially in the late innings. Minnesota hasn’t scored after the sixth inning in the last 10 days, and as a result, have all but dropped out of the playoff race. They trail Cleveland by six games in the AL Central, and while they’re only 3 1/2 games out of the second wild-card spot, there are four teams ahead of them. A long spell of winning would change the outlook, but the Twins haven’t put together a streak longer than four games all year, and the last one of those was in May.

    They’re back home for six games starting tonight, with Adalberto Mejia on the mound, and Paul Molitor was trying to stay optimistic.

    “The guys that have been doing the job for us have put us in this position. They had a couple of hiccups,” Molitor said of the Twins’ 2-6 road trip to the West Coast. “Timing is a big part of this game, and hopefully yesterday Ervin [Santana] picked us up and we can find a way to come out and back it up today.”

    Molitor announced that Kyle Gibson will return from Class AAA Rochester to start Saturday’s game against the Rangers. Gibson steps into Jaime Garcia’s spot in the rotation, which seems only fair, since Garcia took Gibson’s spot for his lone Twins start.

    Here are the lineups for tonight’s opener of a four-game series with the Texas Rangers, who probably didn’t expect to need their jackets and sweatshirts in early August:



DeShields LF

Andrus SS

Mazara RF

Beltre 3B

Napoli DH

Odor 2B

Gomez CF

Gallo 1B

Chirinos C


Griffin RHP




Dozier 2B

Kepler RF

Sano 3B

Mauer 1B

Escobar SS

Rosario LF

Grossman DH

Castro C

Buxton CF


Mejia LHP

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