Notes: Redmond ready for Redman
Ford on a roll at plate; Morneau in bit of a skid
KANSAS CITY -- It will be Redmond vs. Redman on Thursday.Mike Redmond will be the starting Twins catcher for the final game of this series. The Royals are starting left-hander Mark Redman. Redmond and Redman were former batterymates in 2003 with the Marlins, but Redmond has never faced Redman in a Major League game. "It was confusing for everybody," Redmond said of when they were Florida teammates. "Everybody started calling me Mark. It was just a mess. I think it got old after a while." Redmond hit .240 in 53 games for the 2003 Marlins, who won the World Series. Redman had his best season in the Majors, going 14-9 with a 3.59 ERA in his only season with the Marlins. "I caught him quite a few times with the Marlins," Redmond said. "He's a guy who relies on his location, his changeup, hitting his spots. He was big for us. He won a lot of games for the Marlins. He had a great year. "We confused everybody. I remember I was hitting in Arizona and his picture and his hitting stats were on the board. I think I struck out. I said, 'That goes on your hitting stats, not mine.' "I remember we played against Pittsburgh, Mark Redman was pitching, I was catching and Tyke Redman was playing center for the Pirates." So will it be fun for Redmond to hit off Redman? "Any time I get to play, I'm happy," said Redman, who is hitting .438 with three doubles and three RBIs in four games. Driving a Ford: Lew Ford, who started the game-winning rally with an infield single on Tuesday and has a modest four-game hitting streak, was back in right field Wednesday. It was his 10th start in right. "He's on a little roll right now," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He's playing very well right now. I want to keep him in the lineup when he's swinging good. He's been one of our better hitters on this trip. I'm trying to keep him going." Morneau struggling: Justin Morneau entered Wednesday 0-for-12 on this trip to drop his average to .203 with 20 strikeouts in 69 at-bats. "He's just rushing," Gardenhire said. "It looks like to me he's not patient. I'm just letting him play and not think about it, see if he can work his way through some of these things." Morneau snapped an 0-for-19 skid in the fifth inning Wednesday with a solo homer.
Sierra swings: With the Twins trailing by a run in the eighth and Ford on base on Tuesday, Gardenhire said he might have bunted him over in past seasons. With Ruben Sierra, however, the Twins have a new weapon."Ruben just brings that presence," Gardenhire said. "When you have a Ruben Sierra on the bench, you're not afraid to let him take a whack and see what happens. That's the element he gives us off our bench. I'm not afraid to just stick him up there and say, "Go get 'em.' " Sierra stroked a pinch run-producing single. "He can do those things," Gardenhire said. "That's what we envisioned when he got him over here." Sierra, who is 39 and broke into the Majors in 1986 with the Rangers, signed with the Twins on Jan. 31 and came to camp as a non-roster player. He is 44-for-161 in his career as a pinch-hitter. Down on the farm: Left-hander Denny Reyes allowed one run on two hits over six innings in Triple-A Rochester's 4-2 victory over Richmond on Tuesday. Reyes, who received a no-decision despite leaving with a 2-1 lead, has a 0.50 ERA, allowing 11 hits and one run in 18 innings, while striking out 13 and walking three. ... Catcher Caleb Moore, a fourth-round pick last June from East Tennessee State, is hitting .371 with the Beloit Snappers in the Class A Midwest League. Coming up: Johan Santana (0-3, 4.81 ERA) and Royals left-hander Redman (0-0, 4.91 ERA) are facing off in Thursday's 1:10 p.m. CT start for the finale of this three-game series.
Alan Eskew is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.