Twins-Rays: Pregame

Posted on April 28th, 2009 – 2:32 PM
By La Velle

Twins are 1-for-19 with runners in scoring position over their past two games. More to come, or just a phase?

Here are the pitching matchups for the Royals series this weekend:

Friday: Slowey vs Sir Sidney

Saturday: Perkins vs Bannister

Sunday: Baker vs Gil Meche 

5:36 Update: Joe Mauer will catch five to seven innings to night for Class A Fort Myers. He will not play in Wednesday’s 10 a.m. and instead will travel back to the Twin Cities, take Thursday off then play on Friday against the Royals.

If the Twins can win these last two games against the Rays they will be 11-11 without Mauer.

Michael Cuddyer said he should have walked twice yesterday. Ron Gardenhire said other players could have reached base just by letting Jeff Niemann walk them. Bad at-bats are on the rise.  James Shields throws four pitches but mostly is a fastball-changeup guy. Cuddyer, who is 2 for 3 against Shields, said being aggressive early in the count is the way to go with pitchers like Shields, but Shields isn’t afraid to throw breaking balls early in the count and first-pitch changeups the second and third time through the order. 

Lineups

Tampa Bay (8-12)

1. B.J. Upton, CF
2. Carl Crawford, LF
3. Evan Longoria, 3B
4. Carlos Pena, 1B
5. Pat Burrell, DH
6. Gabe Kapler, RF
7.  Dioner Navarro, C
8. Jason Bartlett, SS
9. Akinori Iwamura, 2B

Pitching: James Shields

Twins (9-11)

1. Denard Span, CF
2. Alexi Casilla, 2B
3. Justin Morneau, DH
4. Jason Kubel, LF – 6-for-10, HR vs Shields
5. Joe Crede, 3B
6. Michael Cuddyer, RF
7. Brian Buscher, 1B
8. Jose Morales, C
9. Nick Punto, SS

Pitching: Francisco Liriano

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