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PHI@LAD: Greinke strikes out 11 over seven frames

The Twins saw their scheduled game against the Tigers and Justin Verlander postponed due to weather Sunday, but it won't get any easier with the Dodgers and Zack Greinke coming to town for the start of a three-game Interleague series at Target Field.

Tuesday's scheduled series opener against the Dodgers was also postponed due to weather. Greinke will see his start pushed back to Wednesday, with a split day-night doubleheader scheduled for Thursday.

The Twins are plenty familiar with Greinke, as he played with the Royals from 2004-10 and won the American League Cy Young Award in '09.

Greinke hasn't fared well against Minnesota, as he's 4-8 with a 4.73 ERA in 22 outings, including 18 starts. But he's off to another impressive start, as he's 4-0 with a 2.45 ERA and 40 strikeouts in 29 1/3 innings.

Greinke is also in the midst of a streak of 16 starts of at least five innings without allowing more than two runs.

"What I really try to do," said Greinke, "is try not to have a bad game, and it's been working for a while."

Greinke will also be facing a Twins team ranks first in the Majors in runs scored per game, buoyed by the fact they also lead the Majors in walks per game. Minnesota walked eight times in its last game, Saturday's 5-3 win over Detroit.

"I think everybody is just trying to get on base, and there's always conversation about it," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "A lot of our hitters have a few more at-bats in this league and understand it a bit more. It's experience and not panicking in certain situations. They're doing a lot better at that. We're striking out a little too much, but that goes along with it by going deep in counts. But it's an effort, and it's experience."

Right-hander Kyle Gibson will also be looking to bounce back from his roughest start of the year, as he was hit hard by the Rays last Tuesday, giving up seven runs on 10 hits over three-plus innings. Gibson, who will be making his fifth start, saw his ERA rise from 0.93 to 3.63 because of his subpar outing.

Gibson was originally scheduled to start Sunday before he was pushed back to Tuesday because of Sunday's rainout, and he will now start Wednesday. 

"You just have to roll with it," Gibson said. "Mother Nature is something you just have to deal with. It's my third time treating it like it's my start. But I threw a bullpen [session] Sunday, and I feel good about that. So I was able to work on stuff I think is going to help me. I'm just preparing as much as I can."

Dodgers: Ramirez suffers bruised right thumb
• Shortstop Hanley Ramirez left Saturday's game against the Rockies in the fourth inning with a bruised right thumb. He was jammed by a pitch with the knob of the bat, bruising the bone near the base of his thumb. Ramirez was given a planned day off Sunday, and he expects to be fine.

"I'm good," Ramirez said. "It had nothing to do with my surgery [to repair a torn ligament in the thumb last year]."

Twins: Willingham getting close to swinging the bat
• Outfielder Josh Willingham said his left wrist is continuing to feel better, and he remains hopeful he'll be able to swing the bat by early next week. Willingham, who is on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 7 with a small fracture in his wrist, will need a rehab assignment once he's deemed healthy enough to play.

"It's feeling a lot better," Willingham said. "It's a little point-tender, so once that goes away I can hit. As soon as that tenderness goes away, I'll start swinging."

Worth noting
• Rain is also in the forecast for Wednesday's game, and it could lead to the game being delayed or postponed. The Twins remain hopeful they can play all three games, including the doubleheader Thursday, because the Dodgers don't come back to Target Field again this season. The two teams share a mutual off-day May 19 in case of one of the three games needs to be made up at a later date.

• The Dodgers last played at Target Field in 2011, with the Twins taking two out of three. Minnesota is 6-3 against the Dodgers in Interleague Play.

• Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki is off to a hot start, as he leads all Major League backstops with 19 RBIs.

• Minnesota rookie Josmil Pinto drew his 17th walk Saturday to set the club's rookie record for walks in April. Tim Teufel held the previous record, as he walked 16 times as a rookie in April 1984.

• Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe sustained a left triceps contusion Saturday when he was hit by a pitch on his left arm. But he's expected to be ready to play Wednesday, as he was in Sunday's lineup before the game was rained out. Comments