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RHP Kevin Correia is having one of those up-and-down seasons. He makes his team-high 14th start of the season on Wednesday and has an ERA of 3.97, the lowest among the starters who were in the rotation to start the season. In-season call-ups PJ Walters (3.23) and Samuel Deduno (3.26) have lower ERAs, but both have made just five starts. Correia also has given up more hits (97) and more home runs (14) than anyone on the staff. It's no surprise that those figures, coupled with a lack of run support, translate into a so-so 5-4 record. Correia hasn't won since last month, but he also hasn't lost, with three straight no-decisions in June.
C Ryan Doumit did it again. For the second time in June, he delivered a clutch, late-inning hit to give the Twins a win. On June 1, it was a two-run, walkoff triple. Tuesday night it was a two-out, two-strike, two-run double that snapped a 5-5 tie in the eighth. It's anything but routine for Doumit, who said, "It's a nice little streak that I'm on, but I don't take anything for granted. The hardest thing in the world to do is hit a baseball, especially when it's coming in at 95, 96 (mph)." Doumit had eight RBI in the first six games of the month and then went without driving in a run until his heroics against the White Sox. He's batting .276 in June.
LF Josh Willingham (sore knee) returned to the lineup after missing two games. He got a cortisone shot in his knee and is apparently feeling better. Willingham batted fourth and played left field against the White Sox and went 1-for-4 with a run scored.
OF Wilkin Ramirez (concussion) is still working out in Fort Myers and may join the Class A Miracle as early as Thursday. The Twins' outfield has been depleted in June.
3B Trevor Plouffe has gotten his timing back since coming off the disabled list on Saturday. He hit a homer and drove in three runs in that win over Detroit. On Tuesday, he hit a bases-loaded single to drive in two more runs. Plouffe had five RBI in his last nine games before suffering a concussion on May 21 in Atlanta. He missed more time with a left calf strain. The two-run single Tuesday was his second hit in four at-bats with the bases loaded.
RHP Mike Pelfrey received a huge compliment from Chicago's Adam Dunn, who told catcher Ryan Doumit that the right-hander had a nasty slider during Tuesday's game. Pelfrey was kind of flattered, but felt he knew a little better, admitting his pitches didn't have the usual zip. "It might have been gravity taking over, because it wasn't coming out of my hand as good as I would have liked," said Pelfrey. He's been throwing more sinkers in the past few games, noting that it has been cutting in toward left-handed batters. As a result, he has worked into the seventh inning in his last two starts. He has gone eight starts since his last win, on May 5 at Cleveland.
CF Aaron Hicks (strained hamstring) is improving, according to general manager Terry Ryan. It's not known whether he'll go on a rehab assignment when he comes off DL on June 25, but it is considered likely.
OF Aaron Hicks has been working out daily and appears close to returning to action when he comes off the disabled list on June 25. General manager Terry Ryan said it's still too early to determine if and when Hicks will go on a rehab assignment before rejoining the Twins. Ryan said any assignment for Hicks will be minimal. Hicks went down on June 6 with a left hamstring strain. He was batting .179 with six homers and 19 RBI.