Game 4: Angels – Twins …

Welcome to Minnesota, where the weather is a cool 43 degrees and both offenses are looking to heat up. The Twins, playing their home opener, are coming off a sweep in Baltimore in which they scored just five runs. The Angels, meanwhile, struggled to score early while dropping two of three to the young, exuberant Royals at home, and are coming off a game in which their 4-5-6 hitters went just 1-for-14.

C.J. Wilson — you know, that other free agent who signed on Dec. 8 — will make his Angels debut.

On to the lineups …

Angels (1-2)

Erick Aybar, SS
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Albert Pujols, 1B
Kendrys Morales, DH
Torii Hunter, RF
Bobby Abreu, LF
Alberto Callaspo, 3B
Chris Iannetta, C
Peter Bourjos, CF
SP: LH Wilson

Twins (0-3)

Denard Span, CF
Jamey Carroll, SS
Joe Mauer, 1B
Justin Morneau, DH
Josh Willingham, LF
Ryan Doumit, C
Danny Valencia, 3B
Trevor Plouffe, RF
Alexi Casilla, 2B
SP: RH Nick Blackburn

Some notes from this morning …

  • Torii Hunter and LaTroy Hawkins will take part in an on-field celebration in which they’ll honor the 2002 Twins team that reached the ALCS — and lost to the Angels team they now play for, ironically enough.
  • Morales, of you’ve noticed, has played in four straight days to start the season. He’ll get one game off in this series, and will get extra rest with Tuesday’s off days. But for now, he feels good. “I don’t if we had any real reservations about how much hRe can play,” Mike Scioscia said. “The fact he’s played in four straight is encouraging, and if we didn’t have a day off tomorrow, then we probably would’ve given him a day off one of these last couple of days.”
  • More specifically than the 4-5-6 hitters, Vernon Wells (who got a day off partly to rest mentally) is off to a slow start again, going 2-for-13 in the first three games — though he did homer late on Sunday. Scioscia believes he may be putting too much pressure on himself, saying: “There’s no doubt about his passion. He understands how much we need him. There could be some things players do from time to time that are going to overcompensate for some things they’re trying to correct. Vernon needs to get simple, and he understands that.”
  • Michael Kohn will be seeking a second opinion on his forearm strain. The right-handed reliever was shut down after a bullpen session, and when he tried to crank it up again and progress to long toss about 10 days ago, he had to shut it down once more. Not good.

Some intriguing numbers …

  • The Angels are taking part in the home openers at Target Field and Yankee Stadium.
  • Wilson led the AL last year with a 2.31 road ERA.
  • Scioscia and Ron Gardenhire are the two most tenured skippers in baseball.

Some links from Sunday …

Some AL West links …

  • Matt Harrison twirled a shutout and the Rangers went deep to beat the White Sox
  • The Mariners’ hitters get to face Yu Darvish today
  • A Yoenis Cespedes-led rally fell short for the A’s

Dwyane Wade sat out, but Mike Miller returned and the Heat cruised past the Pistons.

Alden

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