KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Clete Thomas is way back in a corner locker in the Twins' clubhouse, hidden away near Justin Morneau. Not that he minds -- anywhere in a major league clubhouse is OK with him.
Thomas said he was getting on a bus to go work out Sunday when Rochester manager Gene Glynn asked him to come inside instead. When he got the news -- you're going back to the big leagues after a 13-month absence -- he said he was ecstatic. It's as exciting as the first time he was called up to the majors, back in 2008 with the Tigers, he said, because this one was so unexpected.
After batting .369 with four home runs in April, while Aaron Hicks managed only .116 in the majors and his backup, Darin Mastroioanni, was out with a broken ankle, Thomas said he tried not to conclude that the Twins were probably never going to call him up. "I just kept trying to play my game, make them notice me," he said.
They finally did, apparently, and he'll be in the starting lineup sometime during this series, manager Ron Gardenhire said. Not tonight, though, since the Twins had a day off Monday and are on fresh legs anyway.
Justin Morneau said he feels fine again -- "As 100 percent as 100 percent can be at this time of the year," he said -- after a weekend bout with the flu. He felt well enough to offer to serve as the designated hitter on Sunday, Morneau said, but Gardenhire said it was clear he wasn't completely recovered.
It rained for about six hours this morning and early afternoon, but the sun is out now and no more showers are expected until after the game. The Royals have lost eight of their last 10 and have sunk to last place in the A.L. Central, 6 1/2 games behind first-place Detroit, and two games behind the Twins. But Kansas City swept the Twins when they were here in April.
Here are tonight's lineups from Kauffman Stadium:
Alex Gordon LF
Alcides Escobar SS
Eric Hosmer 1B
Billy Butler DH
Lorenzo Cain CF
Mike Moustakas 3B
Salvador Perez C
David Lough RF
Elliot Johnson 2B
Luis Mendoza RHP