MILWAUKEE -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire met with right-hander Jason Marquis about picking up the pace during his next start against the Brewers on Sunday.
Marquis has been deliberate while on the mound this season, averaging 24.2 seconds in between pitches, according to FanGraphs.com. For comparison, it has been a much slower pace with other Twins starters, such as P.J. Walters (20.2 seconds), Scott Diamond (20.6), Carl Pavano (20.8) and Nick Blackburn (20.1).
"We talked about picking up the pace," Gardenhire said. "He's open to suggestions right now. He's going through a tough period. [Pitching coach Rick] Anderson and him watched some video. And he threw a nice bullpen where he picked up the pace to see how that feels. But he has to take it on the mound. We can talk about all we want."
Marquis, a 13-year veteran, has struggled so far this season with a 6.68 ERA in six starts. His pace isn't too far off his average of 22 seconds between pitches over the last five years, but he's willing to make changes.
"Right now, he's going through a tough time and searching for some answers," Gardenhire said. "And at the same time, we're letting him know what we think and what we see. It's something we've been successful with, getting the ball and getting on the mound and keeping everybody in the game."
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."
Revere starts as Gardy looks to play bench
MILWAUKEE -- With six outfielders on his roster, including utility player Trevor Plouffe, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he's doing his best to find playing time for backups such as Ben Revere, Darin Mastroianni and Erik Komatsu.
Revere got the start in right field against the Brewers on Saturday, with regulars Josh Willingham in left and Denard Span in center. Gardenhire said it's important to give Revere playing time, which was the reason he was optioned to Triple-A Rochester on April 14 before he was recalled on Thursday, when right-hander Nick Blackburn went on the disabled list.
"He needs to play," Gardenhire said. "This will give me a chance when Willingham needs a break or something. Or even in center field. You saw that. He can play them all. And so can the other two, Komatsu and Mastroianni."
Gardenhire added he liked the idea of batting Revere in the two-hole on Saturday, as it gave the Twins a speedy top of their lineup with a one-two combo of Span and Revere.
"I wanted to put him at the top with Span-man and let them fly around," Gardenhire said. "I wanted speed at the top and speed at the bottom."