April 2011

A New Day

Yesterday was an Opening Day the Twins would rather forget.

In fact, the 13-3 drubbing was a historic loss for the franchise, as it marked the club’s worst margin of defeat in a season-opening game. Their previous mark for Opening Day futility was set in 1995 when they lost 9-0 against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.

They also tied a franchise record for runs allowed on Opening Day dating all the way back to 1929 when the Senators lost 13-4 to the Philadelphia A’s.

So while it was certainly an ugly start to the season, it was still just the first game of the year. And remember that a 13-3 loss and a 1-0 loss count the same in the standings. There’s simply no need to hit the panic button after one game.

And of course, it can all change today with a solid pitching performance from left-hander Francisco Liriano.

Liriano, though, needs to make sure he keeps the ball in the ballpark, as he surrendered three homers in a loss to the Jays late last season, and the Jays exploded for four homers yesterday.

So it’ll be an interesting matchup for Liriano and the Twins, who hope to bounce back from yesterday’s rough loss.

“Last night was just one of those nights where they whacked the ball around pretty good on us,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said before Saturday’s game. “So hopefully we’ll turn it around today, and Frankie will give us a good start.”

Lineups for the 12:07 p.m. CT start at Rogers Centre:

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

Francisco Liriano, LHP

Blue Jays:

1. Yunel Escobar SS
2. Jose Bautista RF
3. Adam Lind 1B
4. Aaron Hill 2B
5. Edwin Encarnacion DH
6. Jayson Nix 3B
7. Juan Rivera LF
8. Jose Molina C
9. Mike McCoy CF

Kyle Drabek RHP

Opening Day

Opening Day is finally here for the Twins.

And it’s certainly an exciting one for first baseman Justin Morneau, who makes his long awaited return to action after missing most of last season with a concussion suffered July 7 here in Toronto.

Morneau, though, told a large group of reporters before the game that he’s trying to control his nerves, as it’s not his first game in 2011 after playing in 11 Grapefruit League games to get ready for the season.

“It’s not like it’s my first game of the year,” Morneau said. “I’m usually more nervous about the first game of Spring Training than Opening Day. But it’s exciting to play on Opening Day with the butterflies and all that comes with it.”

With that in mind, here’s a look at the lineups for the Twins and Jays for tonight’s game at Rogers Centre.

Twins:

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

RHP Carl Pavano

Jays:

1. Rajai Davis, CF
2. Yunel Escobar, SS
3. Jose Bautista, RF
4. Adam Lind, 1B
5. Aaron Hill, 2B
6. Edwin Encarnacion, 3B
7. Travis Snider, LF
8. Juan Rivera, DH
9. J.P. Arencibia C

LHP Ricky Romero

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