MINNEAPOLIS -- After missing Friday's game with back stiffness, Joe Mauer returned to the Twins' lineup against the Red Sox on Saturday.
Mauer said he came to Target Field on Saturday feeling much better after receiving treatment on his back during Friday night's game and added that he doesn't think it'll be an issue moving forward.
"I feel better," Mauer said. "I'm in the lineup today, so that's good. I'm glad it's feeling better today. I got treatment yesterday, and so I'm glad to be back in there."
Mauer returned to his usual No. 2 spot in the lineup, but he served as the designated hitter after talking it over with manager Ron Gardenhire. It gave Mauer, who extended his hit streak to a season-high 15 games with a double off Ryan Dempster in the fourth inning, his 11th start of the year at DH, as Ryan Doumit made the start behind the plate.
"Joe came in and we talked about whether he was going DH or catch, and with a day game tomorrow, we just decided to DH him," Gardenhire said. "So we'll see how he gets through it and he'll catch tomorrow."
Mastroianni aims to return after All-Star break
MINNEAPOLIS -- Darin Mastroianni admitted his left ankle injury has been frustrating this year, but he is confident that surgery will help him get past the affliction.
Mastroianni, who has been on the 15-day disabled list with a left ankle stress reaction since April 16, will have surgery to repair a bone chip in his ankle on Wednesday. He initially injured his ankle on a foul tip in Spring Training on March 25 and reinjured it while running early in the season.
"It's extremely frustrating," Mastroianni said, "but it'll be nice to have something done so there'll be light at the end of the tunnel and I can try to salvage the second half of the season."
Mastroianni was told that he'll be out at least six weeks before he can play again and will need a rehab assignment before joining the Twins, but the outfielder said he's going to try to get back as quick as possible.
"The timetable is kind of tough," Mastroianni said. "You don't know if it'll heal quicker or longer, but I'll tell you this much, I'm going to push this thing as hard as I can to get back as soon as possible. I don't particularly care what the timetables say. They say four to six weeks, but I hear three to four."
Manager Ron Gardenhire said it was tough hearing the news that Mastroianni will likely be out until July. It means Wilkin Ramirez will remain the backup center fielder on the roster behind rookie Aaron Hicks.
"It's sad," Gardenhire said. "The kid really wants to play. It started in Spring Training and we thought we were past it. As it turned it out, they found that chip in his ankle. No one is sure how he did that one, because it wasn't the initial bone bruise. It's been a long process here to get it figured it out."
De Vries activated off DL, optioned to Triple-A
MINNEAPOLIS -- Right-hander Cole De Vries was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list on Saturday and optioned to Triple-A Rochester.
De Vries, who was on the DL with a right forearm strain retroactive to March 30, made three rehab outings with starts at Class A Fort Myers, Double-A New Britain and Triple-A Rochester.
"It was a positive because he didn't have any setbacks," assistant general manager Rob Antony said. "He worked hard to come back healthy. Right now, we just don't think he's ready to help us, but he's healthy, so we didn't want to keep him on the DL so we optioned him. I think he understood and everything is fine."
The 28-year-old combined to post a 6.23 ERA in those three starts with nine strikeouts and three walks in 13 innings. His last outing came with Rochester on Wednesday, and he gave up six runs on 11 hits over four innings.
De Vries will remain in Rochester's rotation and could be called up if the Twins need a starting pitcher. The Minnesota native had a 4.11 ERA with 58 strikeouts and 18 walks in 87 2/3 innings as a rookie last year.