Mauer gets rare break from starting

Mauer gets rare break from starting

Mauer gets rare break from starting
MILWAUKEE -- After starting 17 straight games, Joe Mauer was out of the Twins' lineup against the Brewers on Saturday.

It marked just the second time Mauer wasn't in the starting lineup this season, as he entered Saturday's game tied for the team lead in games played with 38. Drew Butera started at catcher in Mauer's absence, while Justin Morneau got the start at first base.

But Mauer's rest was short-lived, as he pinch-hit and grounded into a double play in the eighth inning of the Twins' 5-4, 11-inning victory over the Brewers.

"He's a little sore," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Plus, with a night game yesterday, a day game today and a day game tomorrow, he was going to sit out one. And [starter Carl] Pavano and Butera have been a good matchup in the past."

Gardenhire added that Mauer would likely have been in Saturday's lineup if they had been playing with a designated hitter. Mauer has made 18 starts at catcher, 11 at first base and nine as designated hitter this year.

"The National League it makes it a little tougher because you lose a hitter," Gardenhire said. "It makes it tougher to maneuver things. I'd imagine if we were in the American League, Mauer would be DH. But we're not. We don't have a choice. Mornie is going to be at first."