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Updated: June 23rd, 2011 12:59pm
Joe Mauer scratched with sore back, expected to play on Friday

Joe Mauer scratched with sore back, expected to play on Friday

by Tom Pelissero
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Joe Mauer is out of the lineup again, but this time, the Minnesota Twins don't expect their All-Star catcher to be gone for long.

Manager Ron Gardenhire told reporters before Thursday's series finale at San Francisco that Mauer was scratched from the lineup with a sore back.

""He's stiff, sore back and I said we did this at the beginning of the year," Gardenhire said, per the Pioneer Press. "I'm not going to start it again right now."

Shortstop Tsuyoshi Nishioka (sore hamstring) also was scratched, but Gardenhire expects both players to be back for Friday's series opener at Milwaukee.

Mauer is 3-for-20 (.150) with a double and two RBIs in five games since returning from a more than two-month stint on the disabled list last Friday. It seemed unlikely he would catch a third consecutive day anyway, and there is no designated hitter in National League parks.

Nishioka is 4-for-20 (.200) with two doubles and two RBIs since he returned from a fractured fibula last Thursday. Matt Tolbert got the start in his place at shortstop, while Rene Rivera started in place of Mauer.

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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