Mauer makes all the plays at first base

Playing out of position but not looking out of place, Joe Mauer handled several tough grounders and throws in a Twins victory.

view larger photos

  

CHICAGO - Joe Mauer knows how to catch. He last played first base nine years ago in the minors.

But his catcher's mask and mitt were packed away in the visitor's clubhouse Thursday as he took his temporary new position.

He was out of his comfort zone and didn't want to hurt the team.

"That's probably why I was the most nervous," Mauer said. "I wanted to make the plays for my teammates and try and win the ballgame."

Without his mask on, everyone at U.S. Cellular Field could see Mauer's face and read his expressions. By the end of the game, he had cracked a smile a few times as the Twins beat the White Sox 6-2 and Mauer made playing first base look easy.

"It was different," he said. "It was a lot of nerves but a lot of excitement."

He was credited with 13 putouts and two assists. He was part of all three outs in the first inning when he caught Omar Vizquel's line drive and stepped on the bag to double up Juan Pierre, then fielded Adam Dunn's grounder to end the inning.

He remained calm when Pierre's grounder in the fifth bounced off him. He picked up the ball and tagged Pierre out. Vizquel followed with a grounder to his right, and he made a falling grab and flipped to pitcher Carl Pavano, who was covering first. Then came his best play, when Danny Valencia bounced a throw from third. Mauer scooped it like he's been at first base for years.

"He's pretty incredible," Pavano said. "I'm sure Joe was a little nervous but none of us were. We know what kind of athlete he is. We knew as soon as the bell rang, all that little bit of anxiety he might have had would have went away."

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said before the game that wasn't surprised to see Mauer play first.

"I said two years ago, Joe Mauer's gonna be a first baseman," Guillen said. "Nobody believed me. I said that two years ago, this kid's going to be a first baseman, the way he works ... nobody believed me when I say it."

Mauer was 3-for-5 on Thursday with two RBI, driving home the point that his bat needs to stay in the lineup. He increased his hitting streak to nine games and had his first multi-RBI game since April 5.

He was part of the Twins' 13-hit attack. White Sox righthander Phil Humber entered with an 8-4 record and 2.69 ERA. But he left a bevy of pitches over the plate against his former team, and the Twins knocked him out after 3 2/3 innings and 11 hits.

The Twins' mastery of the White Sox continued. They have won all five meetings this season, eight in a row going back to last year and 29 of the past 36 going back to May 2009. Pavano pitched seven innings and improved to 6-6.

Mauer hoped he will play first base just as well the next time he is needed there.

"I'm hoping he'll really like it," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said, "because we could really use him over there and get a lot more out of him as we go along.

"He's still a catcher. I think he enjoyed it. It may not always be peachy and perfect over there, but I think you saw a little bit about what he is all about, how gifted he is."

  • related content

  • Capps works to regain lost form

    Friday July 8, 2011

    The Twins want the closer to be successful again, which could happen as soon as he relaxes and trusts his stuff more. Capps even admitted that might be the case.

  • Twins-Chicago White Sox game recap

    Friday July 8, 2011

    The righthander held the White Sox to two runs over seven innings on six hits and two walks with four strikeouts.

  • Joe Mauer (7)

  • TWINS 6, CHICAGO WHITE SOX 2

    Up next: 7:10 tonight at Chicago U.S. Cellular Field • TV: FSN (1500ESPN)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions
Final123456789RHE
Minnesota «000003030671
Baltimore000000301461
@Ballpark Replay
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
W:P.Hughes(15-9) L:K.Gausman(7-7) S:G.Perkins (33)
HR: MIN- None BAL- N.Cruz (36), N.Hundley (4)

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Mets - LP: J. Familia 6 FINAL
Miami - WP: A. Ramos 9
Philadelphia - WP: C. Hamels 7 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: J. Teheran 0
Boston - LP: B. Badenhop 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: G. Balfour 4
Minnesota - WP: P. Hughes 6 FINAL
Baltimore - LP: K. Gausman 4
Pittsburgh - LP: G. Cole 4 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: S. Maness 5
Milwaukee - LP: J. Nelson 2 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Turner 4
Detroit - WP: D. Price 12 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: C. Kluber 1
Seattle - LP: C. Young 1 FINAL
Oakland - WP: J. Hammel 6
San Francisco - WP: J. Affeldt 4 FINAL
Colorado - LP: C. Friedrich 2
Arizona - LP: T. Cahill 1 FINAL
San Diego - WP: T. Ross 3
San Francisco - LP: S. Romo 9 FINAL
Colorado - WP: L. Hawkins 10
Washington - WP: G. Gonzalez 6 FINAL
Los Angeles - LP: R. Hernandez 4
Texas - LP: C. Lewis 3 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: Y. Ventura 4
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
Buffalo 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
New Orleans 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta
Minnesota 9/7/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Cleveland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Jacksonville 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Oakland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Cincinnati 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Washington 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Tennessee 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
New England 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Carolina 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Tampa Bay
San Francisco 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Indianapolis 9/7/14 7:30 PM
Denver
Utah State 7 FINAL
Tennessee 38
SMU 0 FINAL
(10) Baylor 45
Miami-Florida 13 FINAL
Louisville 31
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(7) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(2) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(15) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Indiana 84 FINAL
Chicago 86
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How sure are you that the Twins are on the road to improving?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close