"I had a perfect game until the last batter, but I walked Arcia," Santana said with a smile. "But everything felt good."
Manager Paul Molitor was encouraged by what he saw from Santana, the club's Opening Day starter. Santana went 0-1 with a 3.15 ERA in three starts before the injury.
"Ervin had a good day," Molitor said. "We didn't really push him. I think he ended up at 30 pitches with a break in between. We'll see how he reacts the rest of the day and tomorrow, but I'm fairly confident he'll be back on the mound for us on Saturday."
• Third baseman Trevor Plouffe, who was activated from the DL after Monday's game, made his return to the lineup on Tuesday, batting fifth. Molitor said that with Plouffe back, Eduardo Nunez will be relegated to a backup role. But he noted that Nunez did well in Plouffe's absence, hitting .371/.420/.484 with a homer and 10 RBIs in 19 games.
"I'm going to tell him he did a heck of a job stepping in for us," Molitor said. "Defensively, he's been solid."
• Molitor plans to keep center fielder Danny Santana atop the lineup in the near-term, and still prefers Brian Dozier hitting second and Joe Mauer batting third. He never thought to experiment using Mauer as his leadoff hitter at any point this season, even when the offense was scuffling in April. Mauer leads the American League with a .452 on-base percentage, but Molitor still likes Mauer going to the plate with more chances with runners in scoring position.
Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. 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.