Joe Mauer still isn't ready to play after injuring his right quad on Sunday.

But Justin Morneau will get a chance to end his struggles against lefthanders.

UPDATE: I'm watching Mauer take batting practice right now. After spraying line drives at PNC Park, he's taking hsi time while running the bases. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said Mauer is still available to pinch hit, but I'm starting to wonder if we won't see him in the lineup until the team gets to Cincinnati.

Mauer just blasted one into the bushes in center and another into the seats in right. And he's not limping when he's jogging around the bases.


Matt Capps threw in the bullpen today and is very close to being ready. Gardy said they would prefer to hold him out of a game one more day but game situations could dictate otherwise.


Gardy also expressed concern about Justin Morneau batting against left-handed pitchers. "I think he's defintely pressing a little bit," Gardenhire said "When he gets up there there's been a lot of talk about his numbers against lefthanders -  outside this office. That always makes guys think about it a little more and try harder."

Gardy wants Morneau to relax, let the ball travel a little farther in and focus on making contact. Morneau has hit over ,250 in hsi career against lefties but has batting .094 against them this season.


The Twins have signed third round pick Luke Bard, brother of Boston's Josh Bard. Bard will head to Fort Myers to work out, but he has a slight shoulder issue from college that the Twins want him to work on before he joins a team. They knew about it before the draft and still wanted him,

Twins (26-40)

1. Denard Span, CF
2. Ben Revere, RF
3. Josh Willingham, LF
4. Justin Morneau, 1B
5. Trevor Plouffe, 3B
6. Brian Dozier, SS
7. Jamey Carroll, 2B
8. Drew Butera, C
9. Francisco Liriano, LHP

Pirates (35-31)

1. Jose Tabata, LF
2. Josh Harrison, RF
3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
4. Casey McGehee, 1B
5. Neil Walker, 2B
6. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
7. Clint Barmes, SS
8. Michael McKenry, C
9. Erik Bedard, LHP

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Twins-Pirates: Looking back, and ahead

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Postgame: Liriano, the Hammer strikes, McDonald's 'Hammer'