KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Clete Thomas has played in 157 major-league games, but No. 158, tonight against the Royals, might feel a little different. It's the first time in more than 13 months that the veteran outfielder has been in a big-league lineup.
Thomas has had long droughts before -- he spent 2010 and 2011 in Toledo, waiting for another chance in Detroit -- but he's 28 now and had reason to believe he might not get the call again. But with Darin Mastroianni out with a broken ankle and Wilkin Ramirez suffering from a concussion, his strong start at AAA Rochester -- a .296 average and nine home runs -- has paid off. He'll give Aaron Hicks a night off tonight, and bat seventh against K.C. starter Wade Davis.
It's the first time since May 25 that Hicks hasn't been in the lineup; the rookie, who has appeared in 52 of the Twins' 56 games, hasn't sat out a game completely since May 12.
I'll be back with more from the clubhouse soon. Until then, here are tonight's lineups:
Wade Davis RHP