KANSAS CITY, MO. -- Denard Span and Justin Morneau are not in the starting lineup, with the Twins trying for their third straight victory tonight in Kansas City.

Span was scratched with a sore neck. He is still feeling the effects from Friday night's slide and collision with Royals catcher Brayan Pena at home plate.

Morneau has been playing with a pinched nerve in his neck, which is causing some weakness in his left shoulder. He was the DH for the first two games of this series.

Morneau also has some soreness in his left wrist. Add it up, and Manager Ron Gardenhire wants to give Morneau tonight and maybe tomorrow off, though Morneau could be used to pinch hit.

* So tonight's Twins lineup includes four players from the Opening Day lineup: Alexi Casilla, Michael Cuddyer, Danny Valencia and Delmon Young.

* Joe Mauer is scheduled to begin a rehab stint with Class A Fort Myers on Sunday. He'll DH in his first game for the Miracle, whose manager is Joe's big brother, Jake. The Twins say Mauer felt good after catching five innings in an extended spring training game Saturday. He went 1-for-4 with a walk and threw out a base stealer.

* Francisco Liriano (left shoulder inflammation) said he didn't feel 100 percent during his bullpen session today, but added that pitchers rarely do, and he expects to make his start Tuesday in Cleveland. Anthony Swarzak will be available to pitch out of the bullpen by Monday, Gardenhire said.

* Tsuyoshi Nishioka (broken left fibula) is scheduled to begin a rehab stint with Fort Myers on Monday. Once these players begin their official stints they have 21 days to return to the big league roster.

Quick fact: Twins starter Nick Blackburn went 3-0 with a 2.53 ERA in May, and Royals starter Luke Hochevar went 1-2 with a 4.58 ERA.

TWINS (19-37)

1. Ben Revere, CF
2. Alexi Casilla, SS
3. Michael Cuddyer, 1B
4. Danny Valencia, 3B
5. Delmon Young, DH
6. Brian Dinkelman, LF (MLB debut)
7. Jason Repko, RF
8. Rene Rivera, C
9. Matt Tolbert, 2B

Starting pitcher: RH Nick Blackburn (4-4, 3.57 ERA)

ROYALS (25-32)

1. Alex Gordon, LF
2. Melky Cabrera, CF
3. Eric Hosmer, 1B
4. Jeff Francoeur, RF
5. Billy Butler, DH
6. Mike Aviles, 3B
7. Chris Getz, 2B
8. Matt Treanor, C
9. Alcides Escobar, SS

Starting pitcher: RH Luke Hochevar (3-5, 4.96 ERA)

Kauffman Stadium. First pitch: 6:10 p.m. TV: FSN. Twins Radio Network

Older Post

Postgame: Another good night for the Twins offense

Newer Post

Postgame: Blackburn doesn't think back injury's serious