MINNEAPOLIS — I saw Ron Mahay unpacking in the Twins’ clubhouse, but he looked too busy to talk. Ron Gardenhire said he is available to pitch, though, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Mahay gets reacquainted with David Ortiz sometime today. (Or maybe not — Ortiz has two home runs in nine at-bats against Mahay.)
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Actually, Ortiz isn’t in the starting lineup today against left-hander Francisco Liriano — it’s quite a story among the Boston writers, perhaps even the End of an Era — but I wouldn’t be shocked to see both of them in the game in the late innings. Anyway, Mahay, signed to shore up the left-handed bullpen corps behind Jose Mijares, has been issued uniform No. 42.
OK, that’s a joke — every player is wearing No. 42 today, baseball’s annual Jackie Robinson Day celebration. Going to make player identification a little more difficult, but I guess that’s what the giant video board is for.
A couple of other notes from a quiet clubhouse: Jim Thome is in the lineup today against Tim Wakefield, not that he has much luck against the knuckleballer. Thome is 9-for-55 against Wakefield, though he has three home runs. I get the feeling that Thome is becoming the equivalent of a backup catcher — Gardenhire wants to put him in the lineup once a series, and sit Delmon Young, as he is today. The Twins’ lineup is the same as the last two games, except Kubel is in left field and Thome is in Young’s seventh spot as the DH.
Pat Neshek had a sore finger today after pitching two innings yesterday, so the Twins won’t use him, not that they would have anyway.
Don’t forget, I’m hosting a live chat from Target Field, starting in the third inning.