While Capps played with the Bucs from 2005-09, Doumit exited Pittsburgh only after last season. He had a chance to see the beginning of the franchise's steady improvement, which has continued into this season.
"For whatever reason, the last couple years we couldn't get over the hump," Doumit said. "They've had really good teams in here in the past, but couldn't get over the hump, but that's starting to change here. Last year, they were in first place in the All-Star Break and this year they're knocking on the door of first place two and a half months into the season. So it's fun to watch. They're a talented group over there and Hurdle does a great job motivating the team."
Looking to spoil the second game of their return series on Wednesday will be Pirates starter Erik Bedard. The left-hander will be looking to shake off a rough previous start, in which he permitted seven runs in only 3 1/3 innings in Baltimore last Thursday.
Bedard has been much more successful at PNC Park this year, owning a 2.45 ERA compared to a 6.27 mark on the road. He struggled in his last start, allowing numerous hits in 0-2 counts against the Orioles.
"That probably became as problematic as anything," manager Clint Hurdle said. "He wasn't ahead of a lot of hitters early, but then when he did get to two strikes: foul balls, extended counts, not being able to have a put-away pitch."
Starting for Minnesota will be southpaw Francisco Liriano, who has recently been on the wrong end of tough-luck decisions. He is 1-2 since returning to the rotation late last month despite posting a 3.04 ERA in four starts.
Twins: Gardenhire opposes former teammate
Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire played with his Pittsburgh counterpart Clint Hurdle at Triple-A Tidewater in 1983 and with the Mets in 1985. During those days, Gardenhire could see the makings of a future manager.
"He's a leader with that booming voice," Gardenhire said. "He was so much fun to be around. He was such a positive player. He was never afraid to knock himself even when he was playing. So we were very entertained by him. He played the game hard and as I said, guys looked up to him. Hell, he was on the cover of a magazine. He's been through an awful lot in his career. He was still banging at it pretty good. He's a fun person and it's no surprise to me he's managing and having success."
Pirates: Looking to continue power surge
Though the Pirates went 2-4 on their road trip last week, they experienced a significant power uptick. Pittsburgh averaged 5.2 runs per game during the trip, a vast improvement over their season average of 3.4. Ten home runs led the increase, including four from Pedro Alvarez.
"It's always good to feel it, to do it," Hurdle said. "So now, it's fresh on their minds. They're capable of it. They know the places they've gone, either mentally or physically, to get better, for us to drive some balls, and be more offensive-minded. It wasn't just Pedro. Even in Baltimore, we were able to throw two six-run games up there in losing efforts. We were able to score nine a couple times there. For me, it still comes down to them finding a way to relax in the batter's box. If that continues more, we're gonna get more out of what we think we're capable of."
The Pirates have stolen 15 bases in their last 10 games. Three on Tuesday increased their month's total to 20.
Pittsburgh's series-opening win was just its third in its last 11 games against Minnesota.
Tuesday marked the Twins' first loss at PNC Park. They swept the Pirates in Pittsburgh on June 16-18, 2006.