Here are three thoughts from LEN3 following the Twins win over Baltimore:
MAUER'S BACK ATTACK: I'm leaving the ballpark tonight expecting Joe Mauer to be placed on the DL sometime tomorrow. He injured his back on Tuesday while running the bases, and indications today were that he wasn't doing well in his attempts to get into a position to at least pinch hit during this series. To me, it's a no brainer. DL him now and it will be retroactive to Tuesday. His first day off the DL would be Friday the 14th in Houston. It's not worth him rushing and fighting to get back in the lineup. The 10-day DL is perfect for situations like this. Now, who comes up if Mauer is DL'd? Twitter followers want Zack Granite up here. The man hit .470 last month, for goodness sakes. But I wouldn't be surprised if they call up another first baseman.
ALL-STAR WATCH: Chris Sale started today for Boston, which puts him on line to start on Tuesday in the All-Star Game. I think he gets the nod over Ervin Santana for the start. Now the watch is on to see which pitchers back out of the game and who the league will replace him with. Inevitably, someone is going to want to rest or someone will pitch Sunday and can't throw on Tuesday. That could open the door for someone like Brandon Kintzler, who pulled into a tie for the AL lead in saves today. Jose Berrios could be a longshot to be added. And Santana continued to stump for Taylor Rogers on Thursday because he has 20 holds and a 2.20 ERA. Keep an eye out for players backing out of the game - and the possibility of another Twin being added to the AL team.
BERRIOS TEASES SANTANA: Jose Berrios pitched just six innings on Thursday as only 60 of his 101 pitches were strikes and he fell behind more hitters than usual. But he got the run support he needed to improve to 8-2. He made note of how his teammates Ervin Santana couldn't get similar support on Wednesday when the Twins lost 2-1 to the Angels. "I told Erv, 'I'm sorry. You should have won yesterday, but I got the win today.' "