Denard Span didn't expect to wind up in the starting lineup today.

But he took some swings during early batting practice and liked the results. He conferred with the trainers and decided that he was ready to give it a shot.

So Span returns to the lineup after missing nine games with a sore clavicle.

I received a lot of feedback on my Span MRI story today, and there's one thing I want to clear up.

Several readers wondered why the Twins didn't use an open-air MRI with Span. I'm here to inform you that they did try the open air machine with Span, and he still couldn't go through with it. Span has indicated that the worst part for him is not being able to move his arms and hands during the procedure. I'm guessing that's still an issue regardless of which machine is being used.

I've covered some other players who were claustrophobic like Span, but Span is the first one to admit it on the record. I give him credit for that. because many players wouldn't want that information out there.

BREAKING: Willingham scratched

Josh Willingham was scratched from the lineup about 50 minutes before the first pitch because of a stiff neck. Ryan Doumit will move to DH and bat cleanup in place of Willingham. Matt Carson comes off the bench to start in left field and bat sixth.

Kyle Gibson is headed to Class AAA Rochester.

Gibson, on the comeback trail following Tommy John surgery last season, was pitching for Class A Fort Myers. But the Red Wings had to place Pedro Hernandez on the DL, and Gibson has been tabbed as the replacement. He will start Saturday.

I'm sure now that the first thing on many minds now is: Will Gibson be called up by the Twins once Rochester's season is over? We have not been told that. But....stay turned.

Headed to the clubhouse now. Will check back with lineups and updates.

UPDATE: Was told there is ZERO chance that Gibson pitches for the Twins this season. He will head to the Fall Instructional League after Rochester's season is over, and he's a candidate to pitch in the Arizona Fall League this offseason.

Happy birthday to Twins first base coach Jerry White, who turns 60 today.

Twins (51-72)

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

Pitching: Scott Diamond, LHP

Rangers (72-51)*

1. Ian Kinsler, 2B
2. Elvis Andrus, SS
3. Josh Hamilton, CF
4. Adrian Beltre, 3B
5. Nelson Cruz, RF
6. Michael Young, DH
7. David Murphy, LF
8. Geovany Soto, C
9. Mike Olt, 1B

Pitching: Roy Oswalt, RHP

*Michael Young was the starting shortstop tonight, but has been moved to DH. His wife is about to give birth to a child, and it's easier for him to leave the park as a DH if she goes into labor.

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Postgame: Benson having more knee surgery

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Postgame: Waldrop returns, and about those message pitches