Max Kepler felt something in his right knee while chasing after a fly ball in the ninth inning on Wednesday in San Juan, and left the game.

Kepler began to feel better on Thursday, raising their hopes that he would be available on Friday when they open a three-game series against the Rays.

On Friday, Kepler tested the knee, felt fine, then walked up to manager Paul Molitor and asked to play. That's all the manager needed to hear. Kepler was back in the lineup on Friday - and back in center field in place of the injured Byron Buxton. Eddie Rosario and Ryan LaMarre also can play center, but Molitor has used Kepler there.

"We are going on what we feel is the best positioning of the guys we  play," Molitor said. "As far as matchups and tendencies and where balls might go and were we might want to be the most protected."

Robbie Grossman will start for the second straight game in right field, while Eddie Rosario starts in left.
Ryan LaMarre and his .583 batting average will likely be in the lineup on Saturday when lefthander Blake Snell starts for Tampa Bay.

Outfielder Byron Buxton (migraine) feels a little bit better today, Molitor said. But it's still too soon the schedule any activities for him.

Brian Dozier enters the game with a 13 game hitting streak, the longest current streak in the majors.

Former Twin Carlos Gomez always thought that one day he would be a No. 3 hitter. He has his chance now with the Rays.....

Twins

Brian Dozier, 2B
Joe Mauer, 1B
Miguel Sano, 3B
Eddie Rosario, LF
LoMo, DH
Eduardo Escobar, SS
Max Kepler, CF
Robbie Grossman, RF
Jason Castro, C

Lance Lynn, RHP

Rays

Denard Span, LF
C.J. Cron, DH
Carlos Gomez, RF
Brad Miller, 1B
Daniel Robertson, 3B
Joey Wendle, 2B
Wilson Ramos, C
Mallex Smith, CF
Adeiny Hechavarria, SS

Chris Archer, RHP

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