* Ron Gardenhire's decision to take out Dennys Reyes in favor of Kyle Lohse in the eighth inning after Reyes had retired the first two batters of the inning on two pitches was a terrible blunder. Taking out a guy with a 1.62 ERA and replacing him with a guy with an 8.46 ERA in a tie ballgame solely for the purpose of getting a righty-on-righty matchup at the plate is beyond stupid. Predictably, Lohse gave up the lead and came out of the game without recording an out.
* Gardenhire continues to hold Jason Kubel out of the lineup against left-handed pitchers, despite the fact that Kubel is hitting a solid .263/.300/.579 against southpaws. Lew Ford had a pretty good game in his stead, but I would like to see Kubel in the lineup just about every day at this point.
* Torii Hunter is not getting the job done in the middle of the order for the Twins. In 62 at-bats this month, he has a total of three extra-base hits and four RBI.
* Jason Bartlett, on the other hand, has been getting the job done bigtime. He went 1-for-3 to stretch his hitting streak to seven games. For reference, Juan Castro's longest hitting streak was five games, and that was when he singled once apiece in each of the first five games of the season.
* Terry Ryan has said that he is not interested in trading for a third baseman right now, but I still have trouble believing that is the case. I like Nick Punto as a short-term fix, but I think at some point the Twins are going to need to lock down a legitimate starter at the hot corner for the next several years.
The Dodgers have moved Cesar Izturis to third base, leading some to speculate that they might be showcasing him for a trade. Izturis is a good defensive player and could be a decent backup, but with a career .261/.295/.338 line, he's not much of an offensive force. I do, however, believe that if the Twins choose to make a deal at the deadline, it will be with one of the LA teams.
Some Twins fans are holding strong to the belief that the Twins could somehow acquire Florida third baseman Miguel Cabrera. If you ask me, there's absolutely no chance of that happening. I think people tend to underrate how much the Marlins would demand in return for Cabrera, who is currently hitting .344/.440/.567 at age 23. I can't see the Marlins parting with Cabrera for anything less than Johan Santana or Francisco Liriano, and I certainly don't see the Twins letting either of those guys go.
* The Indians traded Jason Johnson, he of the 5.96 ERA, to the Red Sox yesterday in return for a player to be named later and cash. That Johnson has struggled this year is no surprise to me, and his departure makes room for Jeremy Sowers, who was 9-1 with a 1.39 ERA for the Tribe's Triple-A affiliate.
Tonight the Twins and Stros meet in the rubber match of the series, with Francisco Liriano and Roger Clemens facing off. A win would put the Twins back above .500 as they return home to face the Cubs this weekend, but it won't come easy.