Home Opener at Target Field

It’s almost impossible to put a damper on the home opener at Target Field.

The ballpark is amazingly beautiful, it’s packed full of fans and the weather couldn’t be any better today.

But at the same time, the effects of Tsuyoshi Nishioka’s injury could certainly be felt on his teammates and manager Ron Gardenhire.

It’s clear Nishioka was excited about playing here at Target Field for the first time, but now he’ll have to wait some time with his fractured bone in his lower left leg. He’s being evaluated by Dr. John Steubs today, and so we’ll get a better understanding of when he’ll return after today’s game.

But no matter how long Nishioka is out, the Twins have to move on and quickly, and it’s exactly what they’re doing with plenty of residual effects from Nishioka’s injury.

Second baseman Luke Hughes gets his first start of the season at second base, Joe Mauer is moving into the two-hole and Michael Cuddyer even took grounders at second in anticipation of seeing time there in Nishioka’s absence.

So it’ll be interesting to see how the Twins do moving forward now that Nishioka is likely out at least a month, or possibly even longer.

Anyways, here are the lineups for the Twins and A’s in the home opener at Target Field that’s set for a 3:10 p.m. CT start.

Twins

1. Denard Span, CF
2. Joe Mauer, C
3. Justin Morneau, 1B
4. Delmon Young, LF
5. Michael Cuddyer, RF
6. Jim Thome, DH
7. Danny Valencia, 3B
8. Luke Hughes, 2B
9. Alexi Casilla, SS

RHP Carl Pavano (0-1, 15.75 ERA, 13.45 FIP, 1.50 K/BB)

A’s

1. Coco Crisp, CF
2. Daric Barton, 1B
3. David DeJesus, RF
4. Josh Willingham, LF
5. Hideki Matsui, DH
6. Kurt Suzuki, C
8. Mark Ellis, 2B
5. Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B
9. Cliff Pennington, SS

LHP Brett Anderson (0-0, 1.50 ERA, 1.97 FIP, 5.00 K/BB)

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