CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Twins are partnering with Feed My Starving Children -- a non-profit organization committed to feeding hungry children throughout the world -- as part of the current relief efforts in Japan, the club announced Thursday.

The club pledged $25,000, which equates to more than 100,000 meals for victims of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. In addition, the Minnesota Twins Wives Organization has pledged $4,000, providing more than 16,000 meals. FMSC works with organizations within Japan that will distribute the contributed meals.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Japan as they deal with this devastating crisis," said Bryan Donaldson, director of community relations for the Twins. "It is our hope that these contributions will help alleviate some of the hunger issues as our Japanese friends rebuild."

The donations also meant a lot to new second baseman Tsuyoshi Nishioka, who hails from Nara, Japan. Nishioka took part in a public service announcement with right-hander Scott Baker to promote the cause on Tuesday.

"All I can do is be appreciative of all the support we're getting," Nishioka said through his translator, Ryo Shinkawa.

Fans interested in contributing to the relief efforts can do so by texting "manna" to 50555 to make a $10 donation to FMSC. A $10 donation will provide 40 meals for victims of the recent earthquake in Japan. Fans can also visit to learn more about the organization or to make a donation.

Mauer, Morneau among regulars off Thursday

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- After trotting out what could be their Opening Day lineup Wednesday night, the Twins let a few regulars get a day of rest on Thursday, with Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Denard Span and Jason Kubel all staying back in Fort Myers, Fla.

It was a good opportunity for a day off considering it was a day game after a night game and the club traveled 140 miles to face the Phillies at Bright House Field.

But the Twins did also want to let other regulars -- including Michael Cuddyer, Alexi Casilla, Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Delmon Young and Danny Valencia -- get a chance to play on a short turnaround, much like what happens in the regular season.

"I want them to play back-to-back-to-back-to-back and all that stuff," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I want them to get their legs stretched out and get daily at-bats. They're going to do it during the season, playing day games after night games, so we might as well do it now."

So while Morneau, who is coming back from a concussion suffered last season, was out of the starting lineup on Thursday, he's expected to return to action Friday, and is scheduled to play in all five of the Twins' remaining Spring Training games. He might serve as designated hitter on Sunday afternoon, however, as the club plays in a night game Saturday.

Nathan to begin increasing workload

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Right-hander Joe Nathan pitched an inning in a relief appearance against the Phillies on Thursday as part of a plan to pitch on back-to-back days to get ready for the season.

Nathan, coming off Tommy John surgery that kept him out of action in 2010, allowed three runs on three hits in his one inning, but that didn't worry Twins manager Ron Gardenhire.

"I just want to see him throwing and healthy," Gardenhire said. "He's facing hitters he doesn't know and all those things. I'm not worried about that stuff. I just wanted to see his arm, and his velocity was good."

Gardenhire, though, would not give any indication whether Nathan or right-hander Matt Capps will start the season as the club's closer.

"We'll let you know at the end," Gardenhire said.

Trio continues to impress in win

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Delmon Young, Tsuyoshi Nishioka and Luke Hughes all continued to impress at the plate in the Twins' 7-3 win over the Phillies on Thursday.

Young had another huge day offensively, going 2-for-3 with a double and a home run to improve to a hitting line of .424/.457/.667 (BA/OBP/SLG) this spring with two homers and seven RBIs.

"I think Delmon is kind of past all the worrying about him," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He's a player. He's going to be a run producer."

Nishioka, meanwhile, extended his hitting streak to 12 games by going 1-for-3 with a run, but isn't wasting too much time dwelling on it.

"I'm not really thinking about it too much," Nishioka said through translator Ryo Shinkawa.

And Hughes hit his team-leading sixth home run to make the competition with Matt Tolbert for the backup infielder spot even tougher on Gardenhire.

"They're both just playing along," Gardenhire sad. "Hughes played well at first base -- not his natural position -- and did well with another homer. So it's the great thing about it. It's good competition, so we'll just have to see what works best for the club when it comes down to these guys."