By Joe Christensen
MILWAUKEE — The Twins are heading into a potential emotional swing game today, after Wednesday night’s stunning 4-3 loss to the Brewers.
A loss would mean dropping back-to-back interleague series, falling two games below .500, and this slump hasn’t come at a good time, with Detroit reeling off six consecutive victories.
It’ll be Scott Baker (4-6, 5.22) vs. Brewers rookie Mike Burns (0-0, 0.00). Burns was called up from Class AAA Nashville, replacing the injured Dave Bush and will be making his first major league start, though he has a 5.46 ERA in 46 career relief appearances.
Another note to ponder: The Twins are 8-17 in day games this season. They’ll have Denard Span back from the disabled list. Assuming he’ll be back in the leadoff spot. I’ll post the lineups ASAP.
Update: Manager Ron Gardenhire said he checked with Joe Mauer and Joe Crede this morning and both gave him the thumbs up to keep them in the lineup for today’s series finale.
Mauer likely will get a break on Saturday afternoon in St. Louis.
Nick Punto has an afternoon appointment, to get his ribs checked, and Gardenhire said Punto or a replacement will be joining the team in St. Louis on Friday. With Alexi Casilla injured at Class AAA Rochester with a sore groin, one possible replacement is Steve Tolleson, though he has committed three errors in recent days.
Matt Tolbert was banged up turning a double play on Wednesday night. Gardenhire said he would have started Michael Cuddyer at second if Tolbert wouldn’t have been able to play, adding that Cuddyer could get a start at second base this weekend in St. Louis.
Update: Kevin Slowey stiffened up a bit after a throwing session Wednesday but made it through another session today just fine, so he’ll make Saturday’s start, as scheduled.
Update: Class AA New Britain outfielder Rene Tosoni, a Toronto native, was selected to play for the World Team in the All-Star Futures Game on July 12 in St. Louis.
1. Denard Span, CF
2. Brendan Harris, SS
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Justin Morneau, 1B
5. Jason Kubel, LF
6. Michael Cuddyer, RF
7. Joe Crede, 3B
8. Matt Tolbert, 2B
9. Scott Baker, P
1. Craig Counsell, 2B
2. Casey McGehee, 3B
3. Ryan Braun, LF
4. Prince Fielder, 1B
5. Corey Hart, RF
6. Mike Cameron, CF
7. J.J. Hardy, SS
8. Jason Kendall, C
9. Mike Burns, P
Miller Park. First pitch: 1:05 p.m.