Twins manager Ron Gardenhire is starting Joe Mauer behind the plate tonight with Carl Pavano on the mound - and not Pavano's personal catcher, Drew Butera. Butera caught Pavano 12 straight starts until tonight.

Gardenhire cited two reasons: One, he wanted to keep Jim Thome's bat in the lineup with Jason Kubel out with a sore left wrist (keep foot on Chicago's throats).

Two, Mauer is going to catch Pavano in the postseason, so they need to work together. Butera will probably get a couple more outings with Pavano, but look for Mauer to catch him too.

Kubel,  by the way, will test his wrist tomorrow and might be able to play against Oakland.

Checked with several players before the game and they were ALL for doing everything possible to reach base, including pretending to be hit with a pitch when they really weren't.

Cool stat of the day: Michael Cuddyer, with 96 plate appearances, is closing in on 100 appearances against Mark Buehrle. Cuddyer has faced Buehrle more than any other pitcher (Nate Robertson is second) and Buehrle has faced Cuddyer more than any other batter (Torii Hunter is second).


TWINS (87-58)

1. Denard Span, CF
2. Orlando Hudson, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Michael Cuddyer, 1B
5. Delmon Young, LF
6. Jim Thome, DH
7. Danny Valencia, 3B
8. Jason Repko, RF
9. J.J. Hardy, SS

Pitching: Carl Pavano, RHP

WHITE SOX (79-66)

1, Juan Pierre, LF
2. Omar Vizquel, 2B
3. Alex Rios, CF
4. Paul Konerko, 1B
5. Manny Ramirez, DH
6. Carlos Quentin, RF
7. A.J. Pierzynski, C
8. Alexei Ramirez, SS
9. Brett Morel, 3B

Pitching: Mark Buehrle, LHP

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