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Mauer out for at least a few days

  • Article by: La Velle E. Neal III
  • Star Tribune
  • August 26, 2007 - 11:45 PM

BALTIMORE — Joe Mauer spent a month on the disabled list earlier this year. More recently, the 2006 American League batting champion watched his average slip below .300.

Now the catcher could miss several days — if not land on the disabled list — right when the Twins are close to getting back in the playoff race.

Mauer pulled his left hamstring Saturday running from first to third against the Orioles. He is listed as day-to-day but likely will miss the Twins' big series at Cleveland that begins today.

"It's pretty frustrating," said Mauer, who is batting .294. "I've never really been healthy the whole year. Especially this time of the year, when we are trying to make a run."

Mauer said the hamstring was "really sore" Sunday. Manager Ron Gardenhire pointed out there was no discoloration in the leg, a sign it's not a serious pull. But the Twins still need time to determine the severity of the injury.

Shortstop Jason Bartlett suffered a similar pull earlier this month and missed a week.

"I'm trying to get back out there," Mauer said. "I just hope it doesn't take too long."

Interest in Silva

Philadelphia spoke to the Twins about righthander Carlos Silva before the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline, but no deal was reached. Although the Phillies traded for former Twin Kyle Lohse from Cincinnati, they remain on the lookout for pitching and still are interested in Silva.

That could mean that Silva has cleared waivers, or he has not yet been placed on waivers. It's more likely the latter. If the Twins haven't tried to slip him through waivers yet, there's a good chance teams will claim him, because he has pitched well lately.

Reyes heads home

Lefthander Dennys Reyes said he had been on the disabled list once in nine years before landing on it twice this season. He was just placed on the 15-day DL Sunday because of a sore elbow that has kept him off the mound since Tuesday.

Reyes tried to throw in the bullpen Friday but experienced more soreness, so he is back in the Twin Cities for an MRI exam today.

"That's more for his peace of mind," Gardenhire said. "To make sure there's nothing really wrong. ... He's kind of leery of going out there and doing a throwing program not knowing what's going on."

As insurance for Mauer, the Twins recalled catcher Chris Heintz from Class AAA Rochester to take Reyes' roster spot.

Bartlett on a roll

Bartlett hit two triples Sunday, the first Twins player to do so since Cristian Guzman in 2001. And that's not all.

Bartlett was 9-for-18 in the series and is 14-for-27 over his past six games. He also played excellent defense at shortstop during the sweep of the Orioles.

"I'm trying to be calm up there and trying to take what they give me," Bartlett said after Sunday's 11-3 victory. "At times I was pull-happy. Right now, I'm just trying to hit it where it's pitched."

Etc.

• Righthander Kevin Slowey will be called up Friday to start the second game of the day-night doubleheader against Kansas City at the Metrodome. He is 10-4 with a 1.74 ERA at Rochester and 3-0 with a 5.84 ERA in seven starts with the Twins.

• Scott Baker gave up two earned runs over six innings Sunday after rejoining the team following the birth of his second child. Baker returned to Shreveport, La., after the victory to be with his wife, Leann, and new son, Easton. He will join the team Wednesday in Cleveland.

• Baltimore's Kevin Millar went 0-for-4, ending his team-record run of reaching base by hit, walk or hit by pitch at 52 games in a row. He had a potential extra-base hit taken away on a leaping catch by Torii Hunter in the fifth inning.

La Velle E. Neal III • lneal@startribune.com

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