Results tagged ‘ Rene Rivera ’

Game 9: Valencia powers Twins to victory

BRADENTON, Fla. — Danny Valencia helped the Twins get out of their offensive slump with a three-run homer to lead the Twins to a 4-2 win over the Pirates on Saturday at McKechnie Field.

The victory snapped a three-game losing streak for the Twins, who improved to 4-5 in Grapefruit League play.

What went right: Valencia looked good at the plate, hitting an opposite-field double in the fifth inning off Jo-Jo Reyes before crushing a three-run shot off Reyes in the sixth.

The homer was set up by a two-out walk from Josh Willingham and a single from Justin Morneau. Morneau, who served as designated hitter, went 1-for-4 at the plate, including a deep fly ball to center field in the first. Willingham went 1-for-2 with a walk.

Right-hander Anthony Swarzak tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings in relief of right-hander Terry Doyle, who struggled. Jared Burton, Matt Maloney, Kyle Waldrop, Lester Oliveros and P.J. Walters each tossed a scoreless inning.

“They’re doing fine,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said of the relievers in camp. “We’re just looking at different guys. We see some guys we like a little bit. We like their arms. We see the ball coming out, but still, they’ve only been out once or twice. I think, let’s give them a couple more times out and see where we’re at.”

What went wrong: Doyle didn’t have his best stuff, as he allowed two runs on seven hits — including three doubles — and a walk over 2 2/3 innings.

Doyle, a Rule 5 Draft pick who must remain on the active roster all season or be offered back to the White Sox, didn’t exactly help his case to make the club. It was also Twins manager Ron Gardenhire’s first time seeing him pitch.

And while Valencia certainly had a good day offensively, the rest of the Twins combined for just four hits — singles from Willingham, Morneau, Rene Rivera and Alexi Casilla.

Also, despite 14 hits, including a homer from Oswaldo Arcia and two doubles from Chris Parmelee, the Twins also lost 8-2 in a “B” game to the Pirates earlier in the day. Scott Baker pitched in two innings, but recorded just four outs, surrendering six runs (five earned) on six hits, including a two-run homer by Matt Hague.

“Baker was not very good at all,” Gardenhire said. “He got beat around pretty good. He threw the ball. We’ll see how he does from there. Maybe that “B” game format, he might need a little more preparation than that riding the bus and all that trying to pitch. He didn’t react well to that.”

What they said: “We had two good ballgames today,” Gardenhire said. “We had 13 or 14 hits in the first one, then out here today we came up with some big hits too. A better day.”

What’s next: Right-hander Nick Blackburn is set to make his Grapefruit League debut on Sunday against the split-squad Yankees at 12:05 p.m. CT at Hammond Stadium. Blackburn has tossed three scoreless innings in two “B” games against the Red Sox this spring. Brian Duensing, Liam Hendriks, Jeff Manship, Tyler Robertson, Brendan Wise and Deolis Guerra are also scheduled to pitch for the Twins. Right-hander Phil Hughes is slated to start for the Yankees.

Twins make first offseason roster moves

MINNEAPOLIS — The Twins announced today they outrighted catcher Rene Rivera, infielder Matt Tolbert, outfielder Jason Repko, and right-hander Anthony Slama to Triple-A Rochester.

Additionally, the Twins reinstated right-hander Nick Blackburn (forearm surgery) and second baseman Alexi Casilla (right hamstring strain) from the 60-day disabled list. As a result of their roster moves, the Twins now have 38 players on their 40-man roster.

Rivera, 28, appeared in 45 games with the Twins, hitting .144 with a .211 on-base percentage and .202 slugging percentage with one homer and five RBIs.

Tolbert, 29, hit .198/.252/.266 with five RBIs and three stolen bases in 87 games while seeing time at second base, shortstop and third base.

Repko, 30, battled various injuries during the regular season, playing in 67 games and batting .226/.270/.286 with two homers and 11 RBIs.

Slama, meanwhile, made just two relief appearances with the Twins, tossing 2 1/3 scoreless innings. The 27-year-old, who saw his season end in early July with a strained muscle in his right elbow, posted a 2.92 ERA with 42 strikeouts and 16 walks in 37 innings with Triple-A Rochester.

Mauer likely to play first tomorrow (Game 85 vs. Rays)

MINNEAPOLIS — Catcher Joe Mauer was held out of the lineup today against the Rays after taking a foul tip to his shoulder, but is expected to return to action tomorrow in Chicago and will likely play first base for the first time in his big league career.

Mauer, who has been taking ground balls at first base during batting practice since June 27, hasn’t played first base since playing one game there with Class A Fort Myers in 2003.

“Joe Mauer will probably play first base with Jim Thome at DH and Drew Butera catching,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “Joe’s not going to play today. He’s a little beat up, which is understandable. I saw his swing last night and looked a little sore. That’s going to be expected.”

Mauer is being called to action at first with Justin Morneau out until at least mid-August after undergoing surgery to remove a herniated disk fragment from his neck last week. It will be a change of pace for Mauer, who last saw extended time at first when he played 13 games there with Class A Quad Cities in 2002.

“He’s fine,” Gardenhire said. “But you won’t really know until you get him into a game. He’s pretty fluid over there to tell you the truth. He has soft hands and moves around pretty good. All the fundamental parts of it will be a learning experience for him.”

With Mauer out of the lineup today, Rene Rivera makes the start, as he has worked well with left-hander Francisco Liriano this season. Liriano entered Wednesday with a 1.91 ERA with 37 strikeouts and 10 walks in 33 innings with Rivera behind the plate this season.

Lineups for the 12:10 p.m. CT start at Target Field:

Rays (47-39)

1. Johnny Damon, DH
2. Ben Zobrist, RF
3. Evan Longoria, 3B
4. B.J. Upton, CF
5. Sean Rodriguez, 2B
6. Casey Kotchman, 1B
7. Justin Ruggiano, LF
8. Kelly Shoppach, C
9. Eliot Johnson, SS

RHP Wade Davis (7-6, 4.20 ERA, 4.94 FIP, 1.31 K/BB)

TWINS (38-46)

1. Ben Revere, CF
2. Alexi Casilla, 2B
3. Michael Cuddyer, 1B
4. Jim Thome, DH
5. Danny Valencia, 3B
6. Rene Tosoni, LF
7. Jason Repko, RF
8. Rene Rivera, C
9. Tsuyoshi Nishioka, SS

LHP Francisco Liriano (5-7, 4.76 ERA, 4.17 FIP, 1.66 K/BB)

Roster moves coming (Game 73 vs. Giants)

SAN FRANCISCO — Twins manager Ron Gardenhire confirmed right-hander Joe Nathan and designated hitter Jim Thome will be activated in time for Friday’s game in Milwaukee, and the club will make two moves to make for them on the 25-man roster after today’s game against the Giants.

Gardenhire said the club will option both a reliever and a catcher to make room for Nathan and Thome on the roster, as the club is currently carrying two backup catchers — Rene Rivera and Drew Butera — behind Joe Mauer. He said the decision between Rivera and Butera was a tough one, but offered no hints on which catcher will be headed to Triple-A Rochester other than the fact that Rivera was in the starting lineup on Thursday.

My best guess is that the club decides to keep Rivera on the roster, while optioning right-hander Jim Hoey to Rochester. But we’ll see.

Here are the lineups for today’s 2:45 p.m. CT start at AT&T Park:

Twins (32-40)

1. Ben Revere, CF
2. Alexi Casilla, SS
3. Michael Cuddyer, RF
4. Delmon Young, LF
5. Danny Valencia, 3B
6. Luke Hughes, 1B
7. Rene Rivera, C
8. Matt Tolbert, SS
9. Brian Duensing, LHP (4-6, 4.82 ERA, 3.59 FIP, 2.12 K/BB)

Giants (40-34)

1. Aaron Rowand, CF
2. Bill Hall, 2B
3. Aubrey Huff, 1B
4. Cody Ross, RF
5. Pablo Sandoval, 3B
6. Pat Burrell, LF
7. Miguel Tejada, SS
8. Chris Stewart, C
9. Tim Lincecum, RHP (5-6, 3.39 ERA, 3.02 FIP, 2.81 K/BB)

Valencia out of action (Game 70 vs Padres)

MINNEAPOLIS — Danny Valencia is out of the lineup today against the Padres with soreness in his right arm stemming from a throw in the eighth inning of yesterday’s 1-0 win.

Valencia originally felt the soreness in his right biceps, but it moved to his triceps on Sunday. He said he remains hopeful he’ll return to action on Tuesday in San Francisco after Monday’s off-day.

“Actually it feels a lot better than I thought it would feel,” Valencia said. “It’s more in my triceps than my biceps right now. So it’s really day to day.”

Joe Mauer is in the lineup, but not at catcher, as he’s serving as the designated hitter and batting third. Matt Tolbert is starting at third base in Valencia’s absence, and Rene Rivera, who has worked well with Francisco Liriano recently, is behind the plate.

Padres (30-42)

1. Chris Denorfia, LF
2. Jason Bartlett, SS
3. Chase Headley, 3B
4. Ryan Ludwick, DH
5. Jesus Guzman, 1B
6. Cameron Maybin, CF
7. Orlando Hudson, 2B
8. Will Venable, RF
9. Ron Johnson, C

RHP Dustin Moseley (2-6, 3.16 ERA, 3.90 FIP, 1.76 K/BB)

Twins (30-39)

1. Ben Revere, CF
2. Alexi Casilla, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Michael Cuddyer, RF
5. Delmon Young, LF
6. Luke Hughes, 1B
7. Nishi, SS
8. Rene Rivera, C
9. Matt Tolbert, 3B

LHP Francisco Liriano (4-6, 4.67 ERA, 4.39 FIP, 1.43 K/BB)

Morneau out until Tuesday (Game 64)

MINNEAPOLIS — Justin Morneau is out of the lineup for a second straight day and is expected to be held out until Tuesday’s game against the White Sox.

Morneau, who has been bothered by a sore left wrist, is scheduled to meet with local hand specialist Dr. Thomas Varecka on Monday’s off-day before returning to action.

“He’s had that thing and he’s going to see Dr. Varecka — our hand guy — and he wants to check all the information out there,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “So it doesn’t make any sense for me to put him out there until Dr. Varecka sees him.”

With so many players out, the Twins will rely on a lineup filled with plenty of players who started the season in the Minors including Ben Revere, Rene Tosoni, Brian Dinkelman and Rene Rivera.

Gardenhire said he’s also stacking his lefties against Rangers right-hander Colby Lewis, as left-handers are hitting .310 with a .966 OPS against him this year, while right-handers are hitting just .190 with a .577 OPS.

“Hopefully we’ll bounce back today and get a good start,” Gardenhire said. “The numbers say left-handers hit over .300 against him and right-handers below it. So we snuck as many left-handers as we could other than Morneau. So we’ll see how they do.”

Lineups for the 3:10 p.m. start at Target Field:

Rangers (36-29)

1. Ian Kinsler, 2B
2. Elvis Andrus, SS
3. Josh Hamilton, DH
4. Adrian Beltre, 3B
5. Nelson Cruz, RF
6. Mitch Moreland, 1B
7. Mike Napoli, C
8. David Murphy, LF
9. Endy Chaves,CF

RHP Colby Lewis (5-6, 4.37 ERA, 5.21 FIP, 2.76 K/BB)

Twins (24-39)

1. Ben Revere, CF
2. Alexi Casilla, SS
3. Michael Cuddyer, 1B
4. Delmon Young, LF
5. Rene Tosoni, DH
6. Danny Valencia, 3B
7. Brian Dinkelman, RF
8. Rene Rivera, C
9. Matt Tolbert, 2B

RHP Scott Baker (3-4, 3.86 ERA, 4.22 ERA, 3.09 K/BB)