The return of Joe Mauer (Game 68 vs Padres)

MINNEAPOLIS — Joe Mauer is back in the lineup for the first time since April 12, and is batting third against Padres left-hander Clayton Richard.

Mauer, who missed 57 games with bilateral leg weakness, faced the left-hander five times back in 2008 when Richard was with the White Sox, going 2-for-5 with an RBI.

With Mauer returning to action, shortstop Tsuyoshi Nishioka slid down to seventh in the batting order after batting third on Thursday and going 1-for-4 with an infield single.

Friday night’s game also marks the first of 15 straight Interleague games for the Twins, who also play the Giants, Brewers and Dodgers in Interleague action.

Padres (30-40)

1. Chris Denorfia, RF
2. Jason Bartlett, SS
3. Chase Headley, 3B
4. Ryan Ludwick, DH
5. Cameron Maybin, CF
6. Jesus Guzman, LF
7. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
8. Nick Hundley, C
9. Alberto Gonzalez, 2B

LHP Clayton Richard (2-8, 4.06 ERA, 4.11 FIP, 1.40 K/BB)

Twins (28-39)

1. Ben Revere, CF
2. Alexi Casilla, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Michael Cuddyer, 1B
5. Delmon Young, LF
6. Danny Valencia, 3B
7. Tsuyoshi Nishioka, SS
8. Luke Hughes, DH
9. Jason Repko, RF

LHP Brian Duensing (3-6, 4.98 ERA, 3.74 FIP, 2.00 K/BB)

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