4/30/2014 7:46 P.M. ET
Johnson set for Twins debut in doubleheader
Lefty to head back to Triple-A Rochester following start in nightcap
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
MINNEAPOLIS -- Left-hander Kris Johnson joined the Twins on Wednesday, and will be officially recalled from Triple-A Rochester to start Game 2 of Thursday's doubleheader against the Dodgers.
Johnson will be called up as the designated 26th man on the roster, so the Twins don't have to make a corresponding roster move. He'll be optioned back to Rochester after his start.
Johnson, 29, was pitching well at Rochester, posting a 2.86 ERA with 20 strikeouts and eight walks in 22 innings.
"He was throwing very well," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He was the recommended guy. He also threw the ball well for us Spring Training. So we'll see how it goes."
Johnson said the key to his success at Triple-A was establishing his fastball command to set up his cutter, curveball and changeup.
"I was able to locate my fastball pretty well and change speeds when I needed to," Johnson said. "Just miss the barrel."
Johnson, who was acquired in a trade with the Pirates in exchange for reliever Duke Welker in November, has limited Major League experience, as he made four appearances with the Pirates last season, including one start, posting a 6.10 ERA. He was hit hard in his one start, as he lasted just two innings against the Cardinals on Sept. 1.
Johnson said that nerves got the best of him in his first career start, but he doesn't expect that to be an issue Thursday.
"It's a different clubhouse and a different group of guys, but it's still the same game," Johnson said. "I got the jitters out of the way. So hopefully I can just go out there and pitch like I know I can."
Gardenhire hoping to avoid makeup game with Dodgers
MINNEAPOLIS -- With rain and cold weather in the forecast all week, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire reiterated how important it was to try to complete Wednesday's game against the Dodgers, especially considering the Dodgers don't come back to Target Field this season.
The Twins saw back-to-back games at Target Field postponed due to weather, including Sunday's game against the Tigers and Tuesday's game against the Dodgers. The Twins and Dodgers are set to play in a split-doubleheader Thursday, but rain is also in the forecast then.
If the Twins and Dodgers need to make up a game, it'll likely be May 19, a mutual off-day for both clubs. The Twins are home at May 18 before heading to San Diego for a two-game series that begins May 20, while the Dodgers finish a series in Arizona on May 18 before heading to New York for a three-game set that starts May 20.
But Gardenhire said that would be the worst-case scenario, as both the Dodgers and Twins want to complete their three-game series by Thursday.
"It's terrible to fly in for a game for one game," Gardenhire said. "You just play the game and go back on the plane, and you don't even get stay in a hotel. It's a whirlwind. It's not much fun."
But the clubs were able to start Wednesday's game on time despite cold temperatures, and Gardenhire said he remains hopeful they'll be able to play both games Thursday.
Hicks, Florimon not in starting lineup
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire shuffled his lineup against the Dodgers on Wednesday, sitting both center fielder Aaron Hicks and shortstop Pedro Florimon.
Both hitters entered Wednesday with batting averages below .200, as Hicks was hitting .188/.321/.275, while Florimon was hitting .115/.193/.173.
Sam Fuld got the start in center field, while Eduardo Escobar started at shortstop with Zack Greinke on the mound for the Dodgers.
"We're just playing these guys," Gardenhire said. "It's just the bottom line. They're swinging good. We'll play everybody, but this is just the way I wanted to go against Greinke."