Mauer returns with home run

Joe Mauer returned to action Sunday after missing two games -- and resumed his domination of Angels righthander Joel Pineiro.

ANAHEIM, CALIF. - Joe Mauer returned to action Sunday after missing two games -- and resumed his domination of Angels righthander Joel Pineiro.

In the fourth inning, Mauer drove a 3-2 sinker that was up a little and on the inside part of the plate over the right-center field wall for a solo homer and the Twins' only run in their 4-1 loss to Los Angeles.

Mauer was 1-for-2 with a walk vs. Pineiro, dropping his career batting average to .667 (16-for-24) against him. It had been .682.

"I don't know what it is," Mauer said. "He's got a lot of movement on a lot of his pitches. For some reason I have some success off of him."

It was only Mauer's second home run of the season. His other one came July 27 at Texas.

He was the designated hitter after missing two games because of an upper respiratory infection and fluid in his ear. Mauer added to that diagnosis Sunday.

"I had an infection," he said. "The biggest thing that kept me out was that I was having episodes of vertigo [and] I had fluid in my ear. I went out to take ground balls a couple days ago and I was getting that spinning feeling. That's calmed down. I'm still not feeling the greatest, but I was able to get rid of that, at least."

He ran sprints and hit in the batting cage before Sunday's game and felt ready to go. When he will be able to catch again is unknown.

Before the game, manager Ron Gardenhire indicated he would have Rene Rivera and Drew Butera each catch a game of the day-night doubleheader against the White Sox on Monday. On Tuesday, Liam Hendriks will make his major league debut. Rivera might get the nod there, as he is the only one on the roster who has caught Hendricks.

On Wednesday, Carl Pavano takes the mound. He usually is caught by Butera. Unless he feels ready to catch one of the games Monday, Mauer might DH or play first base until Friday, when the Twins open a series at Detroit.

"I look forward to getting back behind the plate," Mauer said.

Hiccup for Plouffe

Trevor Plouffe ran his hitting streak to seven games Sunday. He is batting .367 during the streak.

But he also committed a mental mistake in the third inning when he forgot how many outs there were and settled for a force at second base instead of throwing to first for a double play. An Angels run scored on the play, making it look even worse. The Twins trailed 2-1 for much of the game before Los Angeles added two eighth-inning runs.

Afterward, Plouffe said he was very annoyed with himself, adding: "I don't want to do that. [Kevin] Slowey pitched well, he doesn't deserve that. It was a stupid play."

Gardenhire approached Plouffe after the play and told him to shake it off. Plouffe apologized to Slowey and is ready to move on.

"I tell you what," he said, "it's not going to happen again for me."

Reinforcements coming

The Twins on Sunday officially announced the roster moves that became known Saturday.

Reliever Kyle Waldrop, 5-5 with a 3.87 ERA at Class AAA Rochester, and utilityman Brian Dinkelman, batting .243 for the Red Wings, will join the Twins in time for Monday's doubleheader. The Twins had one spot open on their 40-man roster. To open up a second spot, they moved righthander Nick Blackburn from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL. Blackburn, out since Aug. 22 because of a forearm strain, is still experiencing soreness and will be shut down for the season.

On Tuesday, the Twins will officially call up righthander Liam Hendriks from Rochester. In nine starts at Class AAA, Hendriks was 4-4 with a 4.56 ERA. The Twins will have to clear a spot on the 40-man to make room for him. Infielder Matt Tolbert will be brought back Tuesday, too.

Etc.

• Slowey held the Angels to two earned runs over seven innings, the second outing in a row he has pitched at least seven innings. He could have pitched the eight but reported a slightly sore hamstring.

• Outfielder Jason Repko still had an upset stomach but was available off the bench.

• Infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka is still bothered some by a sore oblique muscle but was able to start Sunday.

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Cincinnati - WP: J. Cueto 4 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: E. Volquez 1
LA Angels - WP: T. Skaggs 7 FINAL
Washington - LP: T. Jordan 2
Kansas City - WP: J. Shields 8 FINAL
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