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Twins open tonight against Angels

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ANAHEIM (AP) -- Scott Baker will get the start today when the Minnesota Twins open the 2010 season on the roading, taking on the Los Angeles Angels.

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Baker, a 29-year-old right-hander, was 15-9 last season with a 4.37 ERA. In 200 innings pitched, he struck out 162.

The Angels will counter with Jered Weaver, a right-hander with a 16-8 record and a 3.75 ERA last season. He struck out 174 batters in 211 innings.

The Twins will have one of their strongest defensive infields in years with Justin Morneau at first base, Orlando Hudson at second, J.J. Hardy at shortstop and Nick Punto at third. In the outfield, Delmon Young will be in left field, Denard Span in center field and Michael Cuddyer in right.

Joe Mauer, who signed an eight-year, $184 million contract in the off-season, will be the catcher. Jason Kubel will be the designated hitter.

After Baker, the starting pitching rotation will be: Nick Blackburn, Carl Pavano, Kevin Slowey and Francisco Liriano. Jon Rauch takes over as the closer as Joe Nathan is out for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Although the official batting order has not been announced, it's projected that it will look like this today: 1. Span (.311, 8 HR, 68 RBI). 2. Hudson (.283, 9, 62). 3. Mauer (.365, 28, 96). 4. Morneau (.274, 30, 100). 5. Kubel (.300, 28, 103). 6. Cuddyer (.276, 32, 94). 7. Young (.284, 12, 60). 8. Hardy (.229, 11, 47). 9. Punto (.228, 1, 38).

Hardy was acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for outfielder Carlos Gomez. Hudson was signed as a free agent to a one-year contract.

Infielders Alexi Casilla and Brendan Harris, catcher Drew Butera and designated Jim Thome are players who can come off the bench for the Twins.

Relievers besides Rauch include Matt Guerrier, Jose Mijares, Pat Neshek, Jesse Crain, Brian Duensing and Alex Burnett.

Clan Condrey, a pitcher, and Jose Morales, a catcher, will start the season on the 15-day disabled list.

The Twins home opener in their new stadium is April 12 against the Boston Red Sox.

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