05/30/11 5:57 PM ET
Twins place Liriano on disabled list
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
Liriano, who has been dealing with soreness in the back of his throwing shoulder for the past 10 days, missed his scheduled start on Saturday, with right-hander Anthony Swarzak making a spot start instead.
Swarzak, who took a no-hitter into the eighth inning and allowed just one hit over eight scoreless frames in that outing against the Angels, is scheduled to make his third start of the year in Liriano's place on Thursday against the Royals.
Liriano had been scheduled to throw a bullpen on Tuesday to test out his shoulder, but still felt sore while playing catch on Monday, so the Twins decided to place him on the disabled list. Liriano is eligible to return on June 7 and is expected to make his next turn in the rotation
"He still doesn't feel good enough," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "So we'll DL him, and Swarzak will start in that spot. It's just not to the point where he wants to throw a bullpen or feels comfortable enough to throw one. So we'll back him off and skip another start and go from there. It's nothing serious."
Slama, meanwhile, posted a 3.70 ERA with 24 strikeouts and 11 walks in 24 1/3 innings with Rochester. He also pitched in five games with the Twins last year, compiling a 7.71 ERA in over 4 2/3 innings.
Gardenhire ejected over game-winning double
DETROIT -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was ejected for the fourth time this season -- and for the second time in three days -- after arguing with third-base umpire Gary Darling about a controversial double in the eighth inning of Monday's 6-5 loss to the Tigers.
Gardenhire argued that Alex Avila's double down the left-field line went into the stands and hit a fan -- and this was later confirmed by video replay -- and that Jhonny Peralta, who was on first, should have had to stay at third base because it was a ground-rule double.
Gardenhire was angry after the game because he felt the umpires never gave an explanation for why they allowed Peralta to score the winning run.
"When it hits a fan in the stands, it's a ground-rule double and you don't score," Gardenhire said. "However, you want to call it, that guy doesn't score. So it doesn't make sense to me, and what they told me didn't make any sense, either."
Darling, talking to a pool reporter after the game, explained that the umpires ruled fan interference, not a ground-rule double, and Peralta would've scored regardless of whether a fan touched the ball.
"We ruled spectator interference, and the runner would've scored without it [being touched]," Darling said. "On the replay, it looked like there was a fan in an orange shirt that the ball hit. I had him reaching out [for the ball]."
Kubel day to day with left foot sprain
DETROIT -- Twins right fielder Jason Kubel left Monday's game against the Tigers after the sixth inning with a left foot sprain. X-rays were negative, and Kubel's status is day to day.
Kubel sprained his foot in the bottom of the sixth inning. In that inning, he jumped at the wall in right field to try to catch Victor Martinez's two-run homer, but said he wasn't sure if he hurt himself when he jumped for the ball or when he landed.
"It felt funny when I jumped for the home run and felt like it popped when I landed and immediately pain shot all over my foot," Kubel said. "But X-rays were all good and nothing's broken, so it's just a sprain. Hopefully, it's just a couple days."
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was also optimistic Kubel would make a quick return, but said they won't find out more until Tuesday.
"We'll know a lot more tomorrow about how he'll wake up and feel," Gardenhire said. "Then we'll take whatever action we need. We know it's not a good thing, but we'll see a lot more tomorrow."
Jason Repko, pinch-hitting for Kubel to lead off the seventh inning, flied out to right field against reliever David Purcey.
Kubel went 2-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI before he exited the game.
Gardenhire hoping Mijares returns to form
DETROIT -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire knows how good left-hander Jose Mijares can be out of the bullpen.
After all, Mijares, who was activated from the disabled list after Sunday's game, entered the season with a career 2.49 ERA and 88 strikeouts with just 32 walks over 104 2/3 innings.
But Mijares has scuffled this season, compiling a 5.40 ERA and throwing more walks (11) than strikeouts (7) in 11 2/3 innings before a strained left elbow put him out of action on May 15.
Mijares, though, told Gardenhire that "he's healthy and feeling great" for the first time this year and could give the Twins' struggling bullpen a boost.
"He hasn't really thrown the ball well this year, but out of Spring Training, he was definitely our best left-hander out of the bullpen," Gardenhire said. "It hasn't played out yet, but maybe it was because he was pitching through something he didn't want to talk about. So we'll see."
Thome returns to lineup vs. Tigers
DETROIT -- Designated hitter Jim Thome, who had a cortisone shot in his left shoulder after Saturday's game, returned to the lineup against the Tigers on Monday and batted sixth.
Thome, who has been dealing with pain in his shoulder for more than a week, made an appearance as a pinch-hitter in Saturday's game before sitting out on Sunday as a precaution, after getting the cortisone shot in his shoulder the night before.
"[Thome] said he feels good," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He said he's good to play."
It was good news on the injury front for the Twins, who already have five players on the disabled list.
Twins trainer Dave Pruemer gave a quick update on all five players, including Joe Mauer (legs and shoulder soreness) and Tsuyoshi Nishioka (broken left fibula), each of whom is continuing his rehab by playing in extended spring training games in Fort Myers, Fla.
Right-handers Joe Nathan (right flexor muscle strain) and Kevin Slowey (abdominal strain) are both rehabbing their injuries but have yet to throw. Left-hander Glen Perkins (strained right oblique) played catch on Sunday and is getting closer to his first bullpen session.
Gardenhire pulling for former teammate Carter
DETROIT -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, a teammate of Hall of Famer Gary Carter in 1985 with the Mets, said it was tough hearing the news this week that Carter was diagnosed with brain cancer.
Gardenhire admitted it's been a rough few weeks, with the death of Twins legend and Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew on May 17.
"It's friends, you know," Gardenhire said. "It's sad stuff. He's a friend, and Harm, too. It's not fun. A lot of people are dealing with it, so it kind of puts things in perspective. It helps you do that when things like this go on. Sure, we're struggling and it drives you crazy at night, but you have to put it in perspective, because there's such more to life than what we're dealing with at the ballpark."
Gardenhire also said he plans on giving Carter a call soon, but wants to wait a while before reaching out to his former teammate and friend.
"I haven't talked to him," Gardenhire said. "I'm kind of letting everything calm down here as best as I can, and then I'll chat with him."