Twins hitters are becoming more unhappy about the dimensions and winds of Target Field. They had hoped balls would sail farther as temperatures climbed, but it remains a pitcher's park. Joe Mauer (above) looked stunned Thursday when a blast to center went off the wall, not over it, in the ninth inning of a 9-8 loss to the Royals. … Bobby Valentine has a better chance of being hired by the Orioles than interim manager Juan Samuel has of making his stint permanent. No one wants the job more than Rick Dempsey, the former Orioles catcher who has worked in a plethora of capacities in Baltimore. … The Cardinals seem serious about reuniting Jeff Suppan with Dave Duncan to see whether they can salvage him. That speaks to the void in their rotation with Brad Penny and Kyle Lohse sidelined and the lack of resources to add a salary. … Stephen Strasburg, lifted after seven innings and 94 pitches in his Nationals debut, became the first pitcher to strike out at least 14 while throwing so few pitches. … The Yankees are worried about Alex Rodriguez, whose nagging groin injury could be related to his hip surgery before last season. … ESPN basketball analyst Dick Vitale took a foul ball in the gut on the first pitch of Thursday's Blue Jays-Rays game. Not surprisingly, he was talking when Fred Lewis lined it into the stands.