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6/25 Game Thread: Toronto Blue Jays at Minnesota Twins

Monday, June 25 - Minneapolis, Minnesota

8:10 PM (EST)

Toronto Blue Jays
Vernon Wells cf
Alexis Rios rf
Matt Stairs 1b
Troy Glaus 3b
Frank Thomas dh
Greg Zaun c
Aaron Hill 2b
Adam Lind lf
John McDonald ss

Pitching: Roy Halladay, M.D.

Minnesota Twins

Luis Castillo 2b
Jason Bartlett ss
Joe Mauer dh
Michael Cuddyer rf
Torii Hunter cf
Jason Kubel lf
Mike Redmond c
Jeff Cirillo 1b
Nicky Punto 3b

Pitching: Kevin Slowey, RHP

After finally scratching and clawing back to .500 for the first time since early May, our squadron of azure-clad Corvidae face off against the Minnesota Twins in a four-game series that sees them evading reigning Cy Young winner Johann Santana. First up is Kevin Slowey, the rookie right-hander who, according to manager Ron Gardenhire, faces the unique problem of throwing the ball too hard. The Twins are also without 1st Baseman and Canadian native Justin Morneau who, in an ugly collision with Marlins backstop Miguel Olivo, suffered a bruised lung. Morneau was hospitalized for a few days as he was coughing up blood (and with any bruised lung significant risk for infection exists) and was only released earlier today.

Up against Slowey is Jays ace Roy Halladay, hoping to make it four in a row for the first time for the Jays on the season. The Jays have seized 2nd place in the AL East and, although they still trail the Wild Card by 6 games, the run differential of the various teams has them only 3 games behind, which suggests that better times may be ahead. Still, this stretch of games is crucial as they face off against various wild card opponents, division leaders, and, immediately following the All-Star break, division rivals Boston and New York.

It looks as though reinforcements are on the way, however. All appears on track for A.J. Burnett (right shoulder strain) to make his next scheduled start on Thursday against control artist Carlos Silva. Lyle Overbay (broken hand) has been working out and is almost ready to begin hitting off a tee - the plan for him is to begin taking batting practice in early July and to hopefully return not long after the all-star break. Gustavo Chacin (shoulder) has been throwing from flat ground and is close to a rehab assignment, also eyeing a July return. And Reed Johnson, too, is preparing for a rehab assignment that hopes to see him return to the team in early July.

If you haven't already, be sure to check out Chengy's 2004 Draft Profile below, as well as some of the other things he and I looked at over the weekend.

Finally, let's go Jays!