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Minnesota Twins' Trevor Plouffe hits a two-run single to left field during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers in Detroit, Monday, July 2, 2012.

Carlos Osorio, Associated Press - Ap

Plouffe's thumb under watch

  • Article by: La VELLE E. NEAL III
  • Star Tribune
  • July 21, 2012 - 11:11 PM

KANSAS CITY, MO. - As expected, Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe was not able to swing a bat Saturday and was not in the Twins starting lineup.

Plouffe jammed his right thumb Friday while lining out in the seventh inning. He said he has been bothered by it in recent weeks, and Friday's at-bat aggravated it.

"I think in an emergency we can put him out in the field if we needed him," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.

Gardenhire said the club was going to monitor Plouffe's progress on Saturday and into Sunday. But it would not be surprising if Plouffe didn't play on Sunday as well, especially since there will be a quick turnaround before the afternoon game.

Plouffe said after Friday's game that he didn't believe the injury would keep him out of the lineup long.

"It's just some tenderness back in the thumb area from letting the ball get deep," Plouffe said. "I've been playing with it the whole year, but I got jammed pretty bad."

It's a boy

Justin Morneau got the call early Saturday and was off to the Twins Cities to be with his wife, Krista, for the birth of their second child -- and first son.

The name of the newest Morneau was unavailable at the time this edition went to press, but he came in at 7 pounds, 15 ounces and 21 inches.

Morneau was placed on the league's paternity list, giving him three days to be with his family.

"He will more than likely meet us in Chicago, not certain which day," Gardenhire said. "Just waiting to hear from him and see how everything goes."

The paternity list allows teams to call up a fill-in player while daddy is away, so the Twins added first baseman Chris Parmelee to the roster. Parmelee arrived a couple of hours before game time and singled in his first at-bat on Saturday.

Parmelee, who opened the season with the Twins, is batting .302 with four homers and 18 RBI in 28 games at Class AAA Rochester.

"Parmelee has been playing well," Gardenhire said. "He has been swinging good and taking good at-bats against lefties and righties. Got no issues with him coming up here. And he won't be overwhelmed. He will jump right in and go."

Oliva in Kansas City

Since the Twins were in town for the Royals salute to the Negro Leagues, the Negro League Baseball Museum asked Twins great Tony Oliva visit on Saturday to talk about his career. About 300 fans filled the room as Oliva talked about former teammates, relating to today's players and what it was like for a Cuban to live in Minnesota in the 1960s.

Oliva later fired a strike to home plate as he threw out the first pitch before Saturday night's Twins-Royals game.

Etc.

• Righthander Kyle Gibson, on the comeback trail from Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery, threw a six-pitch scoreless inning on Saturday for the Gulf Coast League Twins in a 5-1 loss to the GCL Red Sox in Fort Myers, Fla., then threw about 15 more pitches in the bullpen.

• After Friday's game, the Twins held a brief ceremony to congratulate reliever Casey Fien, who picked up his first major league victory in his 16th appearance, the first 11 coming with Detroit in 2009 and 2010. "It was a big situation," Fien said after pitching two scoreless innings in the 2-1, 11-inning victory. "I'm just glad it happened."

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