TORONTO — Joe Mauer’s legs are still sore, but three days of idling is enough, he decided.
“He’s doing better,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said of his most experienced player. “I don’t think it’s completely disappeared, some of the symptoms he’s dealing with. But he’s at the point where he just wants to play.”
Good enough for Molitor, though he’s wary of the playing surface in Rogers Centre. But Mauer is in the lineup for the first time since Tuesday, batting second, with Max Kepler moving into the third slot and Trevor Plouffe, who homered on Friday, bats fourth.
Ervin Santana is on the mound for the Twins, who desperately need a strong performance from their ace. Santana hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs in a start since July 15, so this is the best chance the Twins have to snap that eight-game losing streak.
Here are the lineups for today’s game before what’s expected to be a packed house: