CINCINNATI -- Joe Mauer is back in the Twins lineup for today's game -- at first base -- with Manager Ron Gardenhire saying he wanted to give Justin Morneau a mental break.
Morneau is 3-for-14 on this road trip, and his frustrations have been mounting.
“[Mauer’s] ready to catch,” Gardenhire said. “If I wanted him to catch today, he would. But Mourneau needs a break. I’m worried that there’s rivers around, that he might jump in the water and try to swim ‘em because he’s been a little frustrated. I’d like him to walk across the bridges. I’ll give him a break. I think he was going to swim the river last night to tire himself out.”
Matt Capps said his shoulder feels the best it has in a week, so it'll be interesting to see when he gets his next chance to pitch. The Twins have talked to him about easing him back into it, giving him the seventh or eighth inning at some point instead of sticking him right back into a save situation.
Capps said it's probably best the team is taking these decisions out of his hands. Any closer wants the ball in those save situations, no matter how they feel physically.
Duensing vs. Cueto
Brian Duensing will be making his first start of the season for the Twins on Saturday, as their lineup faces one of the best pitchers in the National League, in Reds righthander Johnny Cueto.
Cueto leads all major league pitchers with a 2.33 ERA since the start of the 2011 season. He's 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA in two interleague starts this year, with wins over the Yankees and Indians.
Duensing has held lefthanded hitters to a .157 batting average, compared to .270 for righthanders. Asked about Duensing’s pitch limit, Gardenhire said he’d watch to see the lefthander does, but said he couldn’t see him throwing more than about 60 pitches. The Twins would take five strong innings, if Duensing can do it.
* P.J. Walters (right shoulder inflammation) has two bullpen sessions coming, and if both go well, he could return to pitch in next Saturday's doubleheader against the Royals.
* The Reds are inducting Sean Casey, Dan Driessen and 19th Century first baseman John Reilly into their Hall of Fame in a pregame ceremony. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was asking which Reds alumni would be here. Gardenhire followed the team closely as a kid, rooting for fellow Oklahoma native Johnny Bench, and Gardenhire said shortstop Davey Concepcion was one of his absolute favorites.
* Jamey Carroll scored his 500th career run on Friday. He’s hitting .370 with a .433 OBP in his past 15 games.
1. Denard Span, CF
2. Ben Revere, RF
3. Joe Mauer, 1B
4. Josh Willingham, LF
5. Trevor Plouffe, 3B
6. Ryan Doumit, C
7. Brian Dozier, SS
8. Jamey Carroll, 2B
9. Brian Duensing, LHP (1-2, 3.12 ERA)
1. Zack Cozart, SS
2. Chris Heisey, CF
3. Joey Votto, 1B
4. Brandon Phillips, 2B
5. Jay Bruce, RF
6. Scott Rolen, 3B
7. Todd Frazier, LF
8. Ryan Hanigan, C
9. Johnny Cueto, RHP (8-3, 2.38 ERA)
First pitch: 3:10 p.m. (Central). TV: FSN. Twins Radio Network
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