It rained when I landed this morning but it has since stopped, the sun is out and it's getting a little muggy.

The problem is that more rain is expected this evening, which could affect tonight's game. I'm starting to become more optimistic that we'll get this one in because the new forecast isn't as troubling as it was this morning.

Joe Mauer is batting second in the order for just the fourth time this season, as manager Paul Molitor tries to figure out how to free the offense. Torii Hunter, who is 4-for-12 with three homers on the road trip, is in the No. 3 hole tonight. Strange stat: Hunter is batting .350 in wins and .159 in losses.

``We're putting pressure on our pitching staff by not having many days where we give them much to work with early and kind of have to grind out games.'' Molitor said. ``If that's the way your team turns out, then you have to deal with what you have.
``Right now we are having trouble scoring runs . We have had a couple games where we have done some damage but, overall, it's been a little bit of a scuffle.''

Twins pitchers have walked the fewest batters in the American League. Twins starters have a 2.53 ERA over their last 11 outings - and that includes the blowup Trevor May had on Saturday.

If the offense pulls its weight, this team could take off. And the front office should be on the lookout for a bat. Heck, they might have one in Chattanooga.

There is one bad matchup category for the Twins in this series. The Reds lead the majors with 75 stolen bases.


Twins

Brian Dozier, 2B
Joe Mauer, 1B
Torii Hunter, RF
Trevor Plouffe, 3B
Eddie Rosario, CF
Kurt Suzuki, C
Eduardo Escobar, LF
Mike Pelfrey, RHP
Danny Santana, SS

Reds

Billy Hamilton, CF
Ivan De Jesus, 2B
Joey Votto, 1B
Todd Frazier, 3B
Jay Bruce, RF
Marlon Byrd, LF
Tucker Barnhart, C
Eugenio Suarez, SS
Mike Leake, RHP

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Postgame: Strike zone. Milone and the need for a shortstop

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Postgame: Thoughts on Meyer, Rosario, Santana and Hunter