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Updated: April 26th, 2011 8:31pm
Twins Daily: Rained out again, Twins likely need spot starter Sunday

Twins Daily: Rained out again, Twins likely need spot starter Sunday

by Phil Mackey
1500ESPN.com
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The Minnesota Twins were set to begin a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday, but rain washed out a game at Target Field for the second time in five days. The game will be made up on Thursday in a day/night doubleheader at 12:10 p.m. and 7:10 p.m. The series now is set to open on Wednesday (7:10 p.m., 1500 ESPN).

Numbers game

0: The number of Twins starting pitchers who will be fully rested in time for Sunday's series finale against the Kansas City Royals. Rather than starting Francisco Liriano on three days rest, the Twins will likely turn to a spot starter -- presumably either right-hander Eric Hacker, or someone from Triple-A Rochester. Interestingly, right-hander Kyle Gibson is scheduled to pitch on Sunday for the Red Wings. Gibson has been brilliant in his last two starts, allowing two earned runs on only five hits in 12 innings, striking out 14 and walking two. Even so, it would be surprising if the Twins started Gibson's major league clock this early.

2: The number of rainouts at Target Field so far this season, which is already more than the team had in 2010.

Health watch

• OF Delmon Young (ribs) was expected to play on Tuesday had the game not been rained out, so it's likely he will be in the lineup on Wednesday.

• C Joe Mauer (bilateral leg weakness, flu) is not likely to be activated from the disabled list when eligible on Thursday. Mauer has finally gotten over a nasty viral infection, according to the Star Tribune, but he hasn't regained the necessary strength in his legs and other extremities to resume playing yet.

On deck

In a pitching match-up that was originally scheduled for Tuesday, left-hander Francisco Liriano (1-3, 7.40 ERA) will face Rays right-hander Wade Davis (2-2, 2.73) on Wednesday night.

Coming up

• Thursday: vs. Tampa Bay, 12:10 p.m. RHP Nick Blackburn (1-3, 4.01) vs. Jeff Niemann (0-3, 7.08).
• Thursday: vs. Tampa Bay, 7:10 p.m. RHP Scott Baker (1-2, 3.24) vs. Jeremy Hellickson (1-2, 4.32).
• Friday: @ Kansas City, 7:10 p.m. LHP Brian Duensing (2-0, 3.00 ERA) vs. LHP Bruce Chen (3-1, 3.86).

Phil Mackey is a columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd
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