GameChat – Rays @ Twins, 1:10

Happy Fourth of July, everyone and a special “thank you” to all past and present members of our country’s Armed Services!

For the second season in a row, the Twins will be hosting the Tampa Bay Rays on Independence Day. The Rays have been playing pretty good baseball lately, winning seven of their last 10 games and coming off a series victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.

On the injury front, Jason Kubel is returning to the Twin Cities but, unfortunately, it’s not to play baseball. He’s still feeling discomfort in his foot after re-aggravating it in his first rehab game last week. He’ll be checked out by the Twins’ witch doctors. The news isn’t terrific on Denard Span, either. Denard had a bit of a setback in his recovery from his concussion when he tried to do some running, etc., in the extremely hot weather late last week. Hopefully, both of these guys will take just a small step backwards before forging ahead toward full recoveries. It would be great to get them both back quickly, but that doesn’t look likely. The important thing is that they fully recover so they can contribute at full strength when they do get back.

I hope everyone has a happy and safe 4th of July. If part of your holiday celebration includes watching the Twins this afternoon, here are the line ups for the game and, as usual, we’re opening up a chat window during the game. – JC

Damon, DH Revere, CF
Rodriguez, S, 2B Casilla, A, 2B
Longoria, 3B Mauer, C
Upton, B, CF Cuddyer, RF
Ruggiano, LF Valencia, DH
Kotchman, 1B Hughes, L, 1B
Shoppach, C Repko, LF
Joyce, RF Tolbert, 3B
Johnson, E, SS Nishioka, SS
_Price, P _Duensing, P

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Tampa Bay 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 1
Minnesota 0 3 1 0 0 0 0 3 x 7 7 0

When you looked at today’s match up, I’m not sure many people saw this kind of thing happening! It’s not that getting a W was impossible, but that was nothing short of a dominant performance over a very good team with an All-Star starting pitcher.

Michael Cuddyer continued his hot hitting with another home run and Danny Valencia, once again, couldn’t let Cuddy do anything without proving he could do it, too. In fact, Danny V came away with 3/4 of a cycle, which is good enough to warrant strong consideration for Boyfriend of the Day honors.

But complete game shutouts must be rewarded! Brian Duensing struggled a bit early to find the strike zone but as the game went on, he got even better. That terrific performance earns our BOD today!

Brian Duensing