--DH/RF Jason Kubel has been getting more at-bats this season because of Ron Gardenhire's willingness to play Michael Cuddyer at second base. Don't think Kubel doesn't appreciate it. "I do, because it's finding a way to get us all in the lineup," he said. "And with all of us in the lineup, that's a pretty good lineup." With 2B Tsuyoshi Nishioka on the disabled list because of a broken leg, Gardenhire has moved Cuddyer from right to second, allowing Kubel to play right while Jim Thome is the designated hitter. Kubel has rewarded Gardenhire's confidence by batting .325 (13-for-40) with three doubles, four runs and two RBI. He and leadoff hitter Denard Span (.333) are the team's only .300 hitters.
--SS Trevor Plouffe, the Twins' best option should SS Alexi Casilla continue to struggle offensively, sustained a concussion Tuesday in a game with Class AAA Rochester. Plouffe, 24, fell awkwardly, face first, while trying to field a ground ball, minor league director Jim Rantz said, but should be game-ready by Saturday. He is batting .348 with three home runs and six RBI in six games with the Red Wings. Casilla, a better fielder and faster runner than Plouffe, is batting .143 and was given the day off Wednesday.
--2B Luke Hughes could play shortstop if SS Alexi Casilla continues to scuffle at the plate, manager Ron Gardenhire said, even though the Twins don't consider Hughes a natural shortstop. "Hopefully (Casilla) will get going, but it's not like I wouldn't put (Hughes) over there for a game or two," Gardenhire said. "He'll catch the balls he's supposed to. It's not like he has a lot of range, but he'll catch the ball."
--DH Jim Thome hit the Twins' only home run on their five-game homestand. The team entered the season averaging .64 home runs per game at Target Field, worst of any team with at least eight home runs at the park.
--CF Denard Span went 4-for-5 with two runs scored in Wednesday's 10-5 loss to Kansas City, raising his average from .275 to .333.
--IF Matt Tolbert made his second start at shortstop this season and committed his second career error the position, overthrowing first base in the first inning. His previous error at shortstop came April 12, 2008, at Kansas City.
--Wednesday's announced attendance of 36,286 was the lowest in Target Field's brief history. The team's string 80 consecutive sellouts of at least 39,500 ended on Tuesday.
--The Twins' first-inning run Wednesday was their first in that inning this season, ending a streak of 10 consecutive games without one, longest in franchise history to start a season.
BY THE NUMBERS
100 -- CF Denard Span's total hits at Target Field after his 4-for-5 performance Wednesday, more than any other player.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"I've read where he said he's learned so much now, and he understands everything, totally. And then I watched him on TV and I went, 'OK!'" -- Manager Ron Gardenhire, on former Twin Carlos Gomez, batting .212 (7-for-33) for Milwaukee.
Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.
Minnesota Twins Royal Blue Badge Reel
$3.95 Shop Now!