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Continued: Nationals rough up Silva, Twins

The Twins did nothing early against Nationals righthander Jason Simontacchi, who pitched a season-high 72/3 innings, six of them shutout ball. Simontacchi, who pitched for Class AAA Edmonton of the Twins' chain in 2001, and Saul Rivera, drafted by the Twins in 1998, got all 27 outs Friday.

Ramon Ortiz kept the Twins in the game with six innings of one-run ball, and Kubel made things interesting with his homer. But Rivera got Mike Redmond to ground out with two on and two out in the eighth and the score 8-4.

At least the Twins can rejoice that Mauer is back.

"It's good to get back out there with the guys," Mauer said. "I pictured the first game back a little different."

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

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