MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins catcher Joe Mauer was a late scratch from the lineup against Kansas City on Tuesday.
Mauer was originally slated to catch the series opener, but experienced back spasms before batting practice.
"He was out here earlier. He was about ready to hit and his back tightened up on him," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He's having spasms."
The five-time All-Star has been mostly injury free this season after an injury-plagued 2011 in which he played just 82 games. This year, Mauer had played in 131 of the Twins' 141 games entering Tuesday. He did miss seven games between June 4-21 because of a sprained right thumb.
With Mauer out, Gardenhire moved Ryan Doumit from designated hitter to catcher. Trevor Plouffe was moved to designated hitter and Eduardo Escobar took over Plouffe's post at third base.
Josh Willingham -- getting his first start in the outfield since Sept. 1 -- moved up to hit in Mauer's usual No. 3 spot in the batting order.
Target Field holds moment of silence for 9/11
MINNEAPOLIS -- The pregame experience at Target Field on Tuesday prior to the series opener between the Twins and Royals included ceremonies dedicated to Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance.
Prior to the singing of the National Anthem, the stadium observed a moment of silence to remember those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.
Naval veteran Willard Converse performed the ceremonial flag raising during the singing of the National Anthem. Converse served in the U.S. Navy as a signalman second class aboard the U.S.S. Garrard, a World War II attack transport.
Converse was stationed in the South Pacific from 1944-46, and was one of the first to arrive in Japan to liberate prisoners of war after Japanese forces surrendered.
Span on track to return against Royals
MINNEAPOLIS -- Denard Span could return to the Twins' lineup on Wednesday when the center fielder is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list.
Span has been on the DL -- retroactive to Aug. 28 -- with a sprained sternoclavicular joint in his right shoulder. Span took batting practice with his teammates on Saturday for the first time since going on the DL.
"Denard's doing fine," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He's eligible to come off [Wednesday]. So it looks like everything's going good. He's doing his swinging. No one's told me anything different."
Span originally sustained the injury on Aug. 12 while diving for a ball in center field. He missed nine straight games in August, but was bothered by the shoulder once he returned.
The 28-year-old is hitting .286 with a career-high 32 doubles in 108 games this season.
"He'll possibly be in the lineup," Gardenhire said. "Depends on how he feels. He's gotta tell me he's OK."
Parmelee is day to day with right groin injury
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins utility man Chris Parmelee is day to day with right groin soreness.
Parmelee was absent from the Twins' lineup on Tuesday against the Royals -- one day after being scratched against the Indians after originally being penciled in to start in right field.
Parmelee initially sustained the injury while running down a ball in the right-center gap during Sunday's game against Cleveland.
"He's not doing anything, not swinging," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said on Tuesday. "He did some light work in the pool, that type of stuff."
Parmelee is hitting .349 with three home runs and four doubles in 11 games since being recalled from Triple-A Rochester on Aug. 29.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.