A day off has helped the Twins heal, and among those feeling better is center fielder Aaron Hicks. The rookie, who went on the disabled list June 10 with a strained left hamstring, took early batting practice on Tuesday and shagged fly balls in the outfield. "He's doing fine," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Says his leg feels better."

That doesn't necessarily mean he will be activated once he's eligible a week from today, however. "He hasn't run the bases yet," Gardenhire said, nor subjected his hamstring to strenuous game-speed running. And for that, the manager believes Hicks will need a rehab stint in the minor leagues before he is activated.

"We can't just stick him right back in and say his hammy's OK," Gardenhire said. "There will probably be a rehab somewhere in there. He's not quite there, but hopefully he's getting closer."

The need isn't urgent; Clete Thomas batted .381 with a .409 on-base percentage and three RBIs in the week that Hicks has been out, so the Twins are getting decent production at the position.

As for the guys who are healthy enough to play, there is one small adjustment today: Joe Mauer will handle first base, with Justin Morneau serving as designated hitter and Ryan Doumit catching.

The lineups for tonight's game with Chicago, which has won 15 of its last 19 games at Target Field:


Alejandro De Aza CF
Alexei Ramirez SS
Alex Rios RF
Adam Dunn 1B
Paul Konerko DH
Conor Gillaspie 3B
Dayan Viciedo LF
Gordon Beckham 2B
Tyler Flowers C

Dylan Axelrod RHP


Thomas CF
Mauer 1B
Doumit C
Willingham LF
Morneau DH
Arcia RF
Plouffe 3B
Dozier 2B
Florimon SS

Pelfrey RHP