Jim Thome, Jason Repko a weekend away

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Jim Thome

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OAKLAND, CALIF. - The Twins hope to have designated hitter Jim Thome and outfielder Jason Repko available by Monday, when they open a six-game homestand.

Thome, working his way back from a strained left oblique and slight back strain, took five at-bats during an extended spring training game in Fort Myers, Fla., on Wednesday.

Twins minor league field coordinator Joel Leppel is monitoring workouts in Fort Myers and told manager Ron Gardenhire that Thome's swing still needs to get sharp. So instead of bringing Thome up to pinch hit in the weekend interleague series at Arizona, Thome will stay in Florida and get his hacks in.

"He's still working on his timing," Gardenhire said. "He's getting five or six at-bats like every other day. Getting 10, 15 more at-bats is going to be a good thing for him, rather than coming up and getting one at-bat a day in Arizona."

Thome will continue to play in games until Sunday, then fly to the Twin Cities.

Repko, working his way back from a strained right quadriceps, went 0-for-4 on Wednesday playing for Class AAA Rochester. The plan is for Repko to fly to town Sunday night as well. The Twins will have to make roster moves to make room for both players.

More injury updates

• Infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka is getting his sprint work in as he continues to work out the soreness in the left fibula he fractured on April 7.

"[Tuesday] he came in sore [to] the touch," Gardenhire said. "[Wednesday] was a lot better. That's a good sign. That means the soreness is starting to move itself out."

Nishioka also is doing some light turns on the bases. Once he is able to run them at full speed -- still a few days away -- he will be just about ready to play in games.

• Catcher Joe Mauer began his workouts Wednesday in Fort Myers. He's getting in running work as well, and trainer Dave Pruemer said Mauer's shoulder and elbow are getting better. But there's still no timetable for Mauer to play in any games.

• Lefthander Jose Mijares, on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained elbow, is is scheduled to start throwing Saturday.

Young sits again

Outfielder Delmon Young on Wednesday was on the bench for a second game in a row, after striking out nine in his previous 11 plate appearances.

But he delivered a big pinch hit in the 10th inning off former Twins teammate Brian Fuentes, singling and eventually scoring the winning run in a 4-3 victory over the Athletics.

Gardenhire said Young's problems are a combination of a lack of patience and lack of timing.

"Delmon's scuffling along here," Gardenhire said before the game. "Let him get some work in BP and get out there, relax a little, watch a couple [of games] and then get back to it."

Friday's funeral

The entire Twins coaching staff will attend Harmon Killebrew's funeral in Peoria, Ariz., on Friday. Two buses will be at the team hotel to transport players who wish to attend the service. Twins officials will fly in from the Twin Cities. The service is scheduled for noon Central time.

Target Field the best

Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal and Sports Business Daily have named Target Field the sports facility of the year. It was selected over Amway Arena (home of the Orlando Magic), Arrowhead Stadium (Kansas City Chiefs), Consol Energy Center (Pittsburgh Penguins), New Meadowlands Stadium (New York Giants/Jets) and Red Bull Arena (New York Red Bulls).

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  • Minnesota Twins right fielder Jason Repko during spring training.

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