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Twins Hope To Salvage Split In Beantown

After looking strong in the first game of their four-game set in Boston, the Minnesota Twins have come back down to earth, dropping two consecutive games and losing more ground in the American League Central.

Carl Pavano, the Twins' "ace," got pounded by the Red Sox on Mother's Day at Fenway Park, and now Nick Blackburn (2-4, 4.41 ERA) will attempt to stop the slide for the Twins on Monday night. It's going to be a tall order for Minnesota, as Boston will counter with one of baseball's best in right-hander Josh Beckett (2-1, 2.35). Beckett is averaging nearly a strikeout per inning, which could be a bad sign for the lowest-scoring offense in the big leagues.

Let's take a quick look at the lineup for tonight's game. . .first for the Minnesota Twins.

Denard Span, center field
Matt Tolbert, shortstop
Jason Kubel, designated hitter
Justin Morneau, first base
Danny Valencia, third base (is it just me, or is Valencia creeping up the order further every day)
Michael Cuddyer, right field
Ben Revere, left field
Rene Rivera, catcher
Luke Hughes, second base

Now, the lineup for the Boston Red Sox.

Jacoby Ellsbury, center field
Dustin Pedroia, second base
Adrian Gonzalez, first base
Kevin Youkilis, third base
David Ortiz, designated hitter
J.D. Drew, right field
Jed Lowrie, shortstop
Carl Crawford, left field (must be nice to be able to slot your new $140 million free agent acquisition in the eight-hole)
Jason Varitek, catcher

The first pitch for this one is scheduled for 6:10 PM Central time, and the game will be getting national coverage on ESPN. Be sure to check out the Game Thread over at Twinkie Town for discussion of the game, and we'll be back with the recap when it's all said and done.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.