PITTSBURGH – The Twins on Thursday activated righthander Tim Stauffer from the 15-day disabled list after he recovered from a strained right intercostal muscle.

To make room for Stauffer, the Twins optioned infielder Doug Bernier to Class AAA Rochester. Bernier appeared in four games.

Stauffer returns after giving up three runs over five innings in four appearances with Rochester. He missed 19 games with the Twins.

With Eduardo Nunez being activated from the DL on Sunday, Bernier looked to be the odd man out. The Twins now have eight relievers on their 13-man pitching staff.

The Twins opted to activate Stauffer despite righthander Lester Oliveros pitching well in Rochester. Oliveros is 2-0 with a 1.86 ERA for the Red Wings. In 19 ⅓ innings he's walked six and struck out 30.

Molitor and Allen

The marriage of manager Paul Molitor and pitching coach Neil Allen has been a happy one so far. Twins pitchers are performing better than some expected, and most of Molitor's pitching moves have worked out.

"I would say we have done really well for a new relationship between the manager and the pitching coach," Molitor said.

Not bad for two people who needed spring training to figure out what their working relationship would be like.

"There's been a handful of times where I've opted to do things a little differently than he might have recommended, and there have been times where I have thought a little more about what he had to say and maybe change what I was going to do," Molitor said. "I think that's a good thing. I think that's healthy. It's not going to always work.

"I don't want them to tell me yes all the time."

Allen feels he has the same kind of relationship with Molitor that he did with Charlie Montoyo when he was the pitching coach for four seasons at Class AAA Durham in the Tampa Bay Rays' system.

"Like anything, me and Molly are starting to get on the same wavelength," Allen said. "We have been around each other for a while and understand what he's thinking two, three innings ahead.''