The lineups haven’t been released yet, but I was told that Carlos Gomez remains in the leadoff spot while Denard Span, who was called up on Sunday to replace the injured Michael Cuddyer, is batting ninth.
I’m a little surprised that Twins manager Ron Gardenhire didn’t bat Span leadoff and drop Gomez to ninth. We’re a ways away from his pre-game presser, so I’m guessing at this point that Gardy doesn’t want to switch things up too much if he has to. And, if Span gets on base, Gomez could get one more fastball to hit. Span-Gomez-Casilla, however, is still a great relay team.
Mauer, Morneau and Kubel are batting 3-4-5. Bobby Seay and Casey Fossum are the Tigers’ left-handed relievers.
5:39 Update: Gardy said that Gomez has batted leadoff all season and didn’t want to move him from that spot with things going so well right now. He knows Gomez isn’t a prototypical leadoff hitter but, “when he goes to the plate in the first inning, I don’t look away.”
As for the three lefties, the manager said he’ll take his chances against lefty relievers with Mauer, Morneau and Kubel. I’m guessing that Craig Monroe will start instead of Kubel tomorrow against lefty Nate Robertston.
Kubel told me a couple weeks ago that Robertson gives him more trouble than any lefty in the league. I looked it up, and he’s right: Kubel is 0 for 11 with 5 K’s against ol’ Nate.
Tigers (41-40): 1. Edgar Renteria, SS. 2. Placido Polanco, 2B. 3. Carlos Guillen, 3B. 4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B. 5. Marcus Thames, LF. 6. Gary Sheffield, DH. 7. Ivan Rodriguez, C. 8. Ryan Raburn, RF. 9. Curtis Granderson, CF. Pitching: Armando Galarraga.
Twins (45-37): 1. Carlos Gomez, CF. 2. Alexi Casilla, 2B. 3. Joe Mauer. C. 4. Justin Morneau, 1B. 5. Jason Kubel, DH. 6. Delmon Young, LF. 7. Brian Buscher, 3B. 8. Brendan Harris, SS. 9. Denard Span, RF. Pitching: Glen Perkins.