BALTIMORE - Heading into the season's third game, the Twins already are calling on their No. 7 starter.
Anthony Swarzak will start Sunday's series finale against the Orioles in place of Liam Hendriks, who came down with food poisoning after Friday's season opener. The Twins took Hendriks to a local hospital and hope he can be released Sunday morning.
Hendriks was supposed to fill in while Scott Baker (injured elbow) and Jason Marquis (family emergency) gained arm strength after missing time in spring training. Now, those plans have been scrapped, too.
"It is amazing," Twins General Manager Terry Ryan said. "Everything was fine until he got back [to the team hotel]. I don't know what he had [to eat], but he's still in the hospital."
Hendriks posted a 2.84 ERA in eight games this spring, including four starts. Swarzak had a 2.93 ERA in six spring games. The Twins wisely gave him two starts.
He held the Orioles hitless for 42/3 scoreless innings March 27, and then held the Pirates to one run over six innings on March 31.
"I hope that [Hendriks] gets better as soon as possible because he's a pretty good pitcher," Swarzak said. "And in the big picture, we need as many good pitchers on as staff as we can get."
Especially with this attrition rate.
Marquis on comeback
Marquis' 7-year-old daughter is making good progress in her recovery from a bicycle accident, and her dad took a big stride toward rejoining the Twins rotation Saturday, with a six-inning, one-run effort for Class AA New Britain.
Marquis threw 75 pitches and allowed seven hits, with just two of those coming after the second inning. He had no walks and four strikeouts.
"I'm not worried about him," Ryan said. "Whether he pitched great or horrible doesn't matter to me, as long as he got his work in."
Marquis is determined to return quickly, but the Twins want to him ready to throw 90-100 pitches.
Ryan said Marquis will start Thursday for New Britain. Players optioned to the minors can't return to the active roster for 10 days, so barring another injury Marquis can't start for the Twins until April 14.
"It's one saving grace I have [to keep Marquis from hurrying the process]," Ryan said. "I have to follow the rules."
Gardenhire said Ryan Doumit will catch Sunday afternoon. Asked if Joe Mauer would play first base, Gardenhire said he'd see how Mauer felt after Saturday night's game.
After starting Doumit in right field for Friday's opener, Gardenhire gave him a rest Saturday, using Ben Revere in right. Chris Parmelee moved up in the lineup from No. 8 to No. 6.