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Mauer returns at catcher as Twins hope to avoid sweep by Brewers

  • Blog Post by: Phil Miller
  • June 17, 2012 - 11:57 AM

Twins closer Matt Capps had a sore right shoulder when he woke up Saturday morning, after giving up a two-run homer to Martin Maldonado in Friday's 5-3 loss to the Brewers.

Capps has been unavailable to pitch this weekend, and the Twins plan to re-evaluate him Tuesday. Manager Ron Gardenhire had thought Capps had an MRI exam, but that wasn't the case. The manager said Capps should be ready to pitch Tuesday.

Gardenhire didn't name a specific fill-in closer for Capps, saying he'll use RH Jared Burton or LH Glen Perkins, depending on the matchups.

Mauer's back in the lineup

Joe Mauer, who was not in the Twins lineup Saturday because of a sore right hamstring, is back in there at catcher today.

Mauer entered Saturday's game as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning and grounded out to end the game. Manager Ron Gardenhire said he would have inserted a pinch runner for Mauer if he had reached base, but the hamstring must have improved overnight.

Gardenhire said Mauer wants to catch, believing that will help the hamstring stay loose. The manager did tell Mauer to take it easy on the bases.

Today's pitching matchup

Riding a four-game losing streak, the Twins will try to avoid a sweep against the Brewers on Sunday, facing former Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke.

The Twins already have been swept at home four times this season -- by the Rangers, Red Sox, Indians and Tigers.

Greinke, 28, is having another good year, and he held the Twins to one run over 6 2/3 innings in a 16-4 Brewers victory on May 20, but he does have a 5.06 ERA in seven road starts.

The Twins will counter with Nick Blackburn, whose 3-4 record doesn’t reflect how poorly he’s pitched this season. Blackburn is 3-0 in his past three decisions, but he pitched just five innings in each of those three wins.

BREWERS (30-35)

1. Norichika Aoki, RF
2. Nyjer Morgan, CF
3. Ryan Braun, LF
4. Aramis Ramirez, 3B
5. Corey Hart, 1B
6. Taylor Green, 3B
7. Rickie Weeks, 2B
8. Cody Ransom, SS
9. Martin Maldonado, C

Starting pitcher: RH Zack Greinke (7-2, 2.96 ERA)

TWINS (25-39)

1. Denard Span, CF
2. Ben Revere, RF
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Josh Willingham, LF
5. Justin Morneau, 1B
6. Trevor Plouffe, 3B
7. Ryan Doumit, DH
8. Brian Dozier, SS
9. Jamey Carroll, 2B

Starting pitcher: RH Nick Blackburn (3-4, 7.68 ERA)

Target Field. First pitch: 1:10 p.m. TV: FSN. Twins Radio Network

Follow along on Twitter: @JoeCStrib

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