Twins catcher Joe Mauer returned to Target Field today and addressed the media for the first time since being diagnosed with pneumonia.

Asked about the speculation he might have something more serious, Mauer referred to a reporter asking him about "walking pneumonia" at the start of his interview.

"You started this interview off with a term I’ve never heard of," Mauer said. "People are going to put in their own two cents. There’s a lot of [speculation] out there. The fact is I have pneumonia. I’m dealing with it. I’m not over it yet. That’s first on my list to take care of. Hopefully I can get strong and get ready for next year."

Asked if he'd been assured by doctors that he doesn't have anything more serious, Mauer said, "I’m doing everything I can to get healthy. When they discovered pneumonia down at the Mayo Clinic, that’s what they do. They check over everything. That’s what they came up with and that’s what they’re treating."

Mauer said he came to the ballpark to support his teammates during their final series. He repeatedly had to pause to cough during his media session, assuring the reporters at one point that he's not contagious. His voice was strained and his eyes looked tired. I'll have more details in tonight's first editions.

Note: Denard Span plans to rest tonight after playing back-to-back days for the first time since mid-August, but he's hoping to play the final two games of the season, Twins trainer Dave Pruemer said.

Finishing against the Royals

The Twins need to win two of three games in this final series against Kansas City to avoid 100 losses.

Kevin Slowey is 0-7 in seven starts this year, and if he loses tonight, he'll become the first major league pitcher in 60 years to make at least eight starts in a season and lose each one, according to STATS LLC. The last to do it was Lou Sleater of the 1951 St. Louis Browns.

ROYALS (70-89)

1. Jarrod Dyson, CF
2. Melky Cabrera, LF
3. Billy Butler, DH
4. Eric Hosmer, 1B
5. Salvador Perez, C
6. Mike Moustakas, 3B
7. Lorenzo Cain, RF
8. Johnny Giavotella, 2B
9. Alcides Escobar, SS

Starting pitcher: RH Felipe Paulino (3-6, 4.10 ERA)

TWINS (61-98)

1. Ben Revere, CF
2. Brian Dinkelman, LF
3. Michael Cuddyer, RF
4. Chris Parmelee, 1B
5. Danny Valencia, 3B
6. Trevor Plouffe, SS
7. Rene Tosoni, DH
8. Luke Hughes, 2B
9. Drew Butera, C

Starting pitcher: RH Kevin Slowey (0-7, 6.54 ERA)

Target Field. Firs pitch: 7:10 p.m. TV: FSN. Twins Radio Network

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Postgame: Measuring the fans' pain

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Postgame: Cuddyer reflects on the road to 99 losses