08/26/10 12:12 AM ET
Twins grab lefty reliever Flores off waivers
By Kelly Thesier / MLB.com
Thome sits with soreness after hit-by-pitch
ARLINGTON -- Jim Thome had originally been slotted as the designated hitter for the Twins on Wednesday, but he's still battling some soreness in his right thigh after getting hit with a 97-mph fastball in Tuesday's 4-3 loss to the Rangers.Thome said that he tried to run out on the field Wednesday afternoon, but he couldn't get his leg loose. So manager Ron Gardenhire instead shifted Jason Kubel to the DH spot and slotted Jason Repko in right field. Thome got hit with a first-pitch fastball from Rangers closer Neftali Feliz when he pinch-hit with two outs in the ninth inning on Tuesday. Thome, who represented the tying run, was hit right after pitching coach Mike Maddux made a visit to the mound to talk with Feliz. So there were questions as to whether the pitch might have been intentional. "I don't know," Thome said. "That's the thing. You have to go ask him. I will say it leaves the thought in your mind, I guess. But who knows? I can't really answer that to be honest. It doesn't feel good, I'll tell you that." Gardenhire wouldn't speculate as to whether the pitch was intentional, but he said that Texas manager Ron Washington would not have authorized for his closer to hit Thome, unless there was a beanball war going on. And Gardenhire emphasized that there was no beanball war going on in Tuesday's contest. "I know Washington and trust in him enough to know that he will never say, 'Drill this guy,'" Gardenhire said. "I know that for a fact." While Thome was not in the starting lineup, he was considered available to pinch-hit if needed.
Gardenhire focused on wins, not home field
ARLINGTON -- The Twins and Rangers are both currently in first-place in their respective divisions. But they also could be competing against each other for the second seed in the American League Playoffs.Currently the AL East-leading Yankees and the AL Central-leading Twins have a better record than the Rangers, which would give those two teams homefield advantage in the postseason. But the Twins hold only a half-game advantage over the Rangers heading into Wednesday's contest. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire and Rangers manager Ron Washington both said this week that their clubs are not looking at the race for homefield advantage, instead focusing on their current task at hand, and that's continuing to pick up wins as they chase a division crown. "We just want to win a game [Wednesday], that's what we're worried about -- winning this one and moving on to [Thursday]," Gardenhire said. "You've just got to play it out and see what happens."
In one week, rosters will expand with September callups. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said that the club has had preliminary discussions about who might be coming up, but the organization will have official meetings once they return from this road trip. One certainty is that the Twins will have a third catcher to help give Gardenhire more flexibility with Joe Mauer and the ability to use him as a DH on days he's not behind the plate, so that means Jose Morales will likely rejoin the team at that time. ... Shortstop J.J. Hardy continues to battle some soreness in his left wrist, but he was in the starting lineup on Wednesday. ... Former Twins third-base coach Al Newman has been named the head baseball coach at Apple Valley High School in Apple Valley, Minn., and Gardenhire was happy for one of his former coaches. "No doubt that he'll do a very good job," the Twins manager said. "He's enthusiastic, and he'll get to meet high school umpires -- that will be an adjustment. "
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.