DETROIT -- The Twins will play the rubber-game of this series against the Tigers today without Joe Mauer, J.J. Hardy and Justin Morneau in the starting lineup.

Morneau has mid-oblique stiffness in his back, Hardy has a case of turf toe, and Mauer is banged up and needs a day off from catching, Manager Ron Gardenhire said. Mauer said he could DH, but Gardenhire is going with Thome at DH.

Update: Morneau will not swing a bat today but hopes to try on Friday afternoon in Cleveland.

"Hopefully I’ll be good to go tomorrow," he said. "I don’t know, we’ll see how it goes tomorrow when I get to the field and start swinging and stuff. Felt better yesterday than I thought it was going to when I woke up. Today, even better."

Update: Hardy is available to play off the bench, Gardenhire said, "but he’s got a pretty sore foot, and he was running on the side [of the foot] yesterday, trying to stay off the toe, and that’s a little sore too. He’s had it before and it’s something he could probably play through if it was a need-to-play situation, but I have other infielders, so try to get him off it today and try to calm him down a little."

TWINS (14-7)

1. Denard Span, CF

2. Orlando Hudson, 2B

3. Michael Cuddyer, 1B

4. Jim Thome, DH

5. Jason Kubel, RF

6. Delmon Young, LF

7. Brendan Harris, SS

8. Luke Hughes, 3B

9. Drew Butera, C

Starting pitcher: RH Carl Pavano (2-1, 4.96 ERA)

TIGERS (12-10)

1. Austin Jackson, CF

2. Johnny Damon, DH

3. Magglio Ordonez, RF

4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B

5. Brennan Boesch, LF

6. Brandon Inge, 3B

7. Gerald Laird, C

8. Scott Sizemore, 2B

9. Adam Everett, SS

Starting pitcher: LH Dontrelle Willis (0-1, 5.00 ERA)

Comerica Park. First pitch: 12:05 p.m. (Central). TV: FSN. Twins Radio Network

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Morneau not in lineup as Baker takes aim at Tigers

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Postgame update: Twins shuffle rotation