Game 22: Mauer held out of starting lineip

ANAHEIM — After playing in every inning of the Twins’ first 21 games, catcher Joe Mauer is being held out of the lineup against the Angels tonight after taking a foul ball off his left knee yesterday.

Mauer was hit right above his left knee by a foul tip from Royals catcher Brayan Pena in the ninth inning of the Twins’ 7-4 win over Kansas City. Mauer stayed in the game but said that tonight was a good time to get his first day off this season.

“I’m pretty sore from yesterday,” Mauer said. “I’m going to get in there and get some treatment like I’ve been doing. Hopefully, I’ll be back in there tomorrow.”

Gardenhire said Mauer was held out mostly for precautionary reasons, and that he expects Mauer to be back in the lineup tomorrow.

Gardenhire added he still hadn’t decided whether Mauer will make his next start at catcher, first base or designated hitter. But Mauer said he’d like to get back behind the plate, especially with left-hander Francisco Liriano set to start tomorrow after missing his last start to clear his head after a rocky start to the year.

“We’ll just back him off a bit,” Gardenhire said. “He’s available for the ballgame but he has a little soreness in his knee so there’s no sense in messing around with it.”

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

RHP Nick Blackburn (0-2, 7.53 ERA, 4.48 FIP, 14 1/3 IP, 8 K, 4 BB, 2 HR)

Angels (7-15)
1. Mike Trout, CF
2. Maicer Izturis, 3B
3. Albert Pujols, 1B
4. Kendry Morales, DH
5. Torii Hunter, RF
6. Howie Kendrick, 2B
7. Vernon Wells, LF
8. Erick Aybar, SS
9. Chris Ianetta, C

LHP C.J. Wilson (2-2, 2.42 ERA, 3.33 FIP, 26 IP, 26 K, 11 BB, 2 HR)

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