By Joe Christensen
SEATTLE — Michael Cuddyer is back in the lineup for the Twins today, as they square off with Mariners lefty Jarrod Washburn.
It’s chilly and damp here in Seattle. Light drizzle outside, and the roof at Safeco Field is closed.
Update: Washburn has held lefties to a .157 average this season, while righties are batting .276.
Carlos Gomez is 0-for-5 with four strikeouts in his career against Washburn, so he’s getting a break. Jason Kubel is 0-for-6 with a strikeout against Washburn, while Delmon Young is 1-for-8 with a strikeout.
(*) Manager Ron Gardenhire mentioned how this it the eighth time the Twins have played the Mariners this year, so the teams are pretty familiar with each other. This was in the context of the Mariners guessing right last night, pitching out on Matt Tolbert’s squeeze attempt. Gardenhire said it’s not uncommon to have to change signs mid-game.
(*) Asked about using Jesse Crain with a tie score in the seventh inning, Gardenhire said it’s imperative for Crain and Luis Ayala to start getting those outs, too. The Twins need others besides Matt Guerrier and Jose Mijares to shoulder the load. Gardenhire said he would have used Ayala in the 10th, had the Twins not taken the lead.
(*) As for Gardenhire’s hamstring, he said he’s going to let Rick Anderson handle the pitching changes again today.
“I pulled a lot of hammies playing, but I haven’t had that feeling in a long time,” Gardenhire said.
(*) The Twins were aggressive Friday. Examples that come to mind include the squeeze play, Tolbert’s attempt to score from second base, a hit-and-run attempt with Tolbert and Brendan Harris, and Joe Mauer tagging for third after Franklin Gutierrez robbed Jason Kubel. Alexi Casilla also had a great takeout slide at second base.
This is a team determined to find ways to turn around the 7-16 road record.
“We’re going to try things,” Gardenhire said. “I hate to force the issue, but then again, I want us to play as reckless on the road as we do at home. You know, make things happen. We’re going to try some things, especially down through the lineup — guys who have been fighting it a little bit, why not? See what happens.”
(*) It’s still cloudy, but they have opened the roof here at Safeco.
1. Denard Span, CF
2. Joe Mauer, DH
3. Justin Morneau, 1B
4. Joe Crede, 3B
5. Michael Cuddyer, RF
6. Brendan Harris, SS
7. Mike Redmond, C
8. Delmon Young, LF
9. Alexi Casilla, 2B
Starting pitcher: RH Nick Blackburn (5-2, 3.50 ERA)
1. Ichiro Suzuki, RF
2. Russell Branyan, 1B
3. Adrian Beltre, 3B
4. Ken Griffey Jr., DH
5. Jose Lopez, 2B
6. Ronny Cedeno, SS
7. Endy Chavez, LF
8. Guillermo Quiroz, C
9. Franklin Gutierrez, CF
Starting pitcher: LH Jarrod Washburn (3-4, 3.22 ERA)
Safeco Field. First pitch: 3:10 p.m. (Central)