Mauer gets a day off to rest

Started 40 of first 41 games; to play Sunday

Mauer gets a day off to rest

CHICAGO -- Twins first baseman Joe Mauer started 40 of the club's first 41 games, but he was held out of the lineup for the second time this season on Saturday against the White Sox.

Twins manager Paul Molitor said Mauer is healthy, but it was just a scheduled day off for Mauer to keep him fresh. Mauer is hitting .283/.339/.384 with a team-leading 25 RBIs in 40 games. He's fared well against White Sox lefty Chris Sale, hitting .296/.321/.370 with three RBIs in 27 at-bats, but was still held out of the lineup.

"He has battled Sale really well, hitting .296 or whatever it is, but it's kind of a big-picture thing for me," Molitor said. "I know we had the off-days, but we have three day games in a row and then a night game and then a day game on Wednesday. So it's early. It's game No. 42. So it's just one of those days."

Mauer was intentionally walked in the eighth inning of Saturday's 4-3 win as a pinch-hitter for Eduardo Nunez.

Another lefty starts for the Chicago in the series finale on Sunday, but Mauer has even better numbers against Jose Quintana. Mauer has hit .391/.440/.652 with two homers and five RBIs in 25 at-bats against the southpaw.

"His Quintana numbers are pretty good," Molitor said. "So he'll be back in there tomorrow."

With Mauer out of the lineup and Kennys Vargas at Triple-A Rochester, Trevor Plouffe made just his third career start at first base.

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.