Manager mum on Morneau updates

FORT MYERS, FLA. - The Twins clamped down about first baseman Justin Morneau's concussion recovery Monday, one day after manager Ron Gardenhire said Morneau was scheduled to see a doctor to gain clearance to play in games.

Morneau took batting practice and worked out at the Twins' spring training complex, showing no signs of a setback, but declined to speak about his injury, which has kept him out since July 7.

General Manager Bill Smith said he had no update.

Asked when Morneau planned to see the doctor, Gardenhire said: "I have no idea. I'm not even getting into that. That's done. Don't ask me about him anymore. You're going to start tweeting it and blogging it. That's over with."

Slowey struggles

Kevin Slowey relieved starting pitcher Nick Blackburn in the third inning Monday and gave up a three-run homer to David Ortiz in the Twins' 7-6 loss to Boston at City of Palms Park.

Normally a control specialist, Slowey walked two and gave up three hits in his two innings.

"For me it's really about establishing a down angle on my pitches, and today was a little bit flatter than I would have liked," Slowey said. "Maybe overstriding a little bit, at least today, and [pitching coach Rick Anderson] said that's probably being too excited."

Slowey is one of six pitchers competing for five rotation spots. He dealt with arm issues last year but said he had no problems Monday.

"I felt great," he said.

Prospects impress

Two games into their exhibition schedule, the Twins like what they have seen from position prospects Chris Parmelee, Joe Benson and Luke Hughes.

Parmelee went 2-for-2 with a double and a nice diving play in Sunday's 8-4 victory over Boston, filling in for Morneau at first base. Benson, a center fielder, hit a three-run double in that game and rifled another ball foul in Monday's loss.

Hughes hit a two-run homer off Tim Wakefield on Monday and added an RBI single off Daniel Bard. The infielder is 3-for-5 in two games.

"Those kids can play," Gardenhire said. "That's what we hope to have -- our prospects getting to the level where when we need help, they're ready to help us."

Perkins starts strong

Glen Perkins breezed through a 1-2-3 fifth inning, retiring the top three in Boston's order: Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia and Carl Crawford.

Gardenhire said Perkins is primarily a bullpen candidate, "but he's a guy we can stretch out if we have to."

On deck

Joe Nathan is scheduled to pitch in his first game since undergoing reconstructive elbow surgery, when the Twins play Boston at 12:05 p.m. Tuesday at Hammond Stadium.

Nathan will follow starting pitcher Scott Baker, who is coming off arthroscopic elbow surgery. The Twins will be eager to watch them throw, along with prospects Kyle Gibson, Carlos Gutierrez and David Bromberg. Jon Lester gets the start for Boston.