Game 21: Gardenhire sticks with same lineup

MINNEAPOLIS — Twins manager Ron Gardenhire opted to stick with the same lineup today that he had written out for yesterday’s game before it was postponed due to rain.

Left fielder Josh Willingham simply had to wait one extra day to return to action after missing two games to attend the birth of his son, Rogan Jaynes, on Wednesday.

“It’s good to put him back in there,” Gardenhire said. “He’s one guy who’s been swinging it pretty good. It’s good to have him back. It’s beautiful. He has a beautiful kid. So there you go. They got their work done and we got our player back. Good stuff.”

Joe Mauer also is back in at catcher, as he’s started all 21 games this season, which is a far cry from last season when he didn’t play in his 21st game until June 29.

“It’s a good thing,” Gardenhire said. “We’re not rehabbing injuries now. It’s just maintenance and preparing for the next day. Every day I go up to him and ask how he’s doing, and he says he’s doing fine. So he’s ready to go. Yesterday I had him as DH, but he said he really wanted to catch, so that’s good. I like that.”

The Twins still haven’t decided when he’ll get a day off. But Mauer, who played in just 82 games last year, said he’s happy to be seeing regular playing time so far this season.

“That’s what I wanted,” Mauer said. “Obviously I love to play this game, and I love to be out there whenever I can. This year it’s been pretty good.”

Royals (6-14)
1. Chris Getz, 2B
2. Alex Gordon, LF
3. Billy Butler, DH
4. Eric Hosmer, 1B
5. Jeff Francoeur, RF
6. Mike Moustakas, 3B
7. Brayan Pena, C
8. Alcides Escobar, SS
9. Jarrod Dyson, CF

LHP Bruce Chen (0-2, 2.52 ERA, 3.63 FIP, 25 IP, 17 K, 4 BB, 3 HR)

Twins (5-15)
1. Denard Span, CF
2. Jamey Carroll, SS
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Josh Willingham, LF
5. Justin Morneau, 1B
6. Danny Valencia, 3B
7. Ryan Doumit, DH
8. Trevor Plouffe, RF
9. Alexi Casilla, 2B

RHP Jason Marquis (1-0, 7.15 ERA, 6.13 FIP, 11 1/3 IP, 6 K, 2 BB, 3 HR)

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