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04/10/11 2:15 PM ET

Gardenhire tells Casilla not to be down

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire talked to Alexi Casilla to make sure the shortstop didn't blame himself for Saturday's 1-0 loss against the A's, when his throwing error in the sixth inning led to the lone run of game.

"He feels really bad about yesterday, but I told him this is a 'We' game and an 'Us' game," said Gardenhire, who talked to Casilla after the loss and before Sunday's game. "We had plenty of chances as a team, so a loss doesn't fall on one person's shoulders. It's really important to put him back out there today. He's our shortstop."

Casilla, 26, also was down on himself for failing to plate a run with no outs and runners on the corners in the fifth inning, when he grounded back to the pitcher. Casilla entered Sunday's game with a .188 batting average to go along with a .235 on-base percentage and .313 slugging percentage.

"He wants to get off to a good start and he wants to be the guy," Gardenhire said. "So we'll see what happens with this young man. Either he gets it done or he doesn't. But this is a good time for him. He's an athlete and he can really play. He just has to do it on a consistent basis."

Cuddyer gets the start at second base

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins pulled out all the stops to try to get their offense going against the A's on Sunday.

Catcher Joe Mauer was in the lineup despite playing in a night game on Saturday, and Twins manager Ron Gardenhire found a way to get Jim Thome, Jason Kubel and Michael Cuddyer in the lineup, with Cuddyer making his first start at second base since May 31, 2010.

"I want to get Kubel and Thome in the lineup together and Cuddy is ready, willing and able to get out there at second base," Gardenhire said. "It's a chance to get them all in there, and it gives Cuddy a chance to keep swinging."

Cuddyer started taking ground balls at second base on Friday after Tsuyoshi Nishioka hit the disabled list with a fracture in his lower left leg on Thursday. Cuddyer has played every position except pitcher, catcher and shortstop as he starts his 11th year in the Majors, and Sunday marked his 48th career start and 63rd appearance at second base.

"Heck, he's played everywhere," Gardenhire said. "He played there in the [2004] playoffs, as a matter of fact. He gets excited to play different positions, and so now we have the strongest-armed second baseman in baseball."

Mauer collects his 2010 hardware

MINNEAPOLIS -- Catcher Joe Mauer was presented with his 2010 Rawlings Gold Glove Award and Louisville Silver Slugger Award before Sunday's game with the A's.

Mauer won both awards for the third straight season, and also garnered the Silver Slugger Award in 2006 when he won his first of three batting titles. Mauer is also a four-time All-Star and was the recipient of the 2009 American League Most Valuable Player Award. He finished eighth in the balloting for the AL MVP last season.

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.