Friday, April 27, 2007

Mauer resting

Fresh off his game-winning hit Thursday, Mike Redmond has been promoted, at least for one night, in the Twins’ lineup. Redmond will bat third against the Tigers, giving regular catcher Joe Mauer a night off. A frigid, overcast night off.

“With a day game tomorrow, he was going to take one of them off, and this is a tough matchup,” Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said, referring to Tigers left-handed starter Nate Robertson. “If I’m going to give him a break, I’m going to give him a break against a tough lefty.”

Gardenhire said Mauer has felt a twinge of soreness in his upper leg, the result of either catching or filling the DH role since April 15. Mauer, though, said he feels fine -- it’s the manager’s call to make.

Jim Leyland made a similar call in the Detroit dugout, choosing to keep Ivan Rodriguez on the bench for Game 1 of this three-game set.

Gardenhire also decided to bench rookie Alexi Casilla for a night, figuring that, when playing such a tough opponent as the A.L. champions in their home park, “he might get a little overwhelmed.” Better to let him get used to his surroundings, Gardenhire said, by watching for one night.

Those changes make tonight’s lineup an unusual one, with Nick Punto moving into the leadoff spot. But at least Torii Hunter -- or “Mushmouth,” as Derek Jeter nicknamed him after he was beaned in the face on Thursday -- decided he can play despite some lingering swelling and soreness. The lineups:

Punto 3b
Rodriguez 2b
Redmond c
Cuddyer rf
Morneau 1b
Hunter cf
Rabe dh
Kubel lf
Bartlett ss

Ortiz p

Granderson cf
Polanco 2b
Sheffield dh
Ordonez rf
Guillen ss
Casey 1b
Monroe lf
Rabelo c
Inge 3b

Robertson p