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Updated: August 1st, 2010 11:50am
Notebook: Morneau will not travel to Tampa Bay; Mauer could DH Monday

Notebook: Morneau will not travel to Tampa Bay; Mauer could DH Monday

by Phil Mackey
1500ESPN.com
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Twins first baseman Justin Morneau (concussion) was originally scheduled to take batting practice on the field before Sunday's game against Seattle, but decided to hit in the cage instead because the Twins were set to hold Family Day -- a mass collection of players' kids and family members taking swings and playing catch in the infield.

Morneau decided to wait a day, rather than hit in the middle of a mini-spectacle.

"He said he'd rather just wait," Gardenhire said. "While we're gone, hit on the field. I think that's a little less people around. He wants to just kind of ease into it."

Morneau has been sidelined since taking a knee to the head in Toronto on July 7, and he will stay in Minneapolis when the team travels to Tampa Bay for a four-game series on Monday.

NOTES

* Joe Mauer received a cortisone shot on Saturday night to relieve tendinitis in his right shoulder. Per Gardenhire, Mauer was "a little sore" on Sunday morning, but could possibly DH on Monday when the team travels to Tampa Bay. He is highly unlikely to catch until at least Tuesday.

In the meantime, Drew Butera will handle catching duties. And because the Twins also have catcher Jose Morales on the roster, there is no need to rush Mauer back behind the plate.

"We kind of anticipated this going on with Mauer," Gardenhire said. "We didn't know exactly when it was going to happen, but we kind of anticipate this. And that's another reason why we brought (Morales) up here, to protect us if (Mauer) had those days where (the shoulder) was really sore."

Gardenhire said Morales will catch at some point, but for right now he will likely continue to pinch hit.

* Orlando Hudson will travel with the team to Tampa Bay and is expected to swing left-handed on Monday for the first time since straining his oblique on July 23 in Baltimore.

* Heading into Sunday, the Twins had won a season-high seven games in a row. Since July 11 the Twins have tallied at least eight hits in every ballgame, and the pitching staff has allowed more than four runs just three times.

"Pitching is the key," Gardenhire said. "Pitching sets the tone and gets everything going on the right foot, and then your offense swinging the bat probably helps them out. It takes the pressure off them too -- getting some runs early for them, and (pitchers) going deeper into games. Their confidence is soaring right now, which is good."

Phil Mackey is a columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd
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