05/30/12 1:20 PM ET
Morneau transitioning nicely back to first base
By Rhett Bollinger and Jordan Garretson / MLB.com
The former American League Most Valuable Player Award winner started his first nine games of the season as Minnesota's designated hitter. But since, Morneau has played 16 times at first compared to just eight times at DH.
"It's great," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I'd like to give him a DH day here and there. But he says first base. He's got a day off tomorrow. Who knows, come the next day at Cleveland, I may play Joe [Mauer] at first base and DH him [Morneau].
"I'll work it out where he'll [Morneau] get back-to-back days DHing. But he likes playing first."
Morneau also seems to feel more comfortable in the batter's box when he's in the lineup as a position player.
"When we talked about it, he feels more into the game," Gardenhire said. "He stays looser that way. And he is into the game. He's very aware out there."
Blackburn rusty in first rehab start
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he heard that right-hander Nick Blackburn looked rusty in his rehab outing with Triple-A Rochester on Tuesday.
Blackburn, who is on the disabled list with a left quad strain, allowed four runs (three earned) on four hits with three walks over 3 2/3 innings against Triple-A Charlotte.
"He misfired a little bit," Gardenhire said. "He started off good. His fastball was good. As it went along, he kind of struggled with his command. He was rusty, but health-wise, he was good, which is the biggest part of the whole deal. You're hoping for a little better outing, but it was his first time throwing in a little bit."
Blackburn threw 68 pitches and is scheduled to make his next start with the Red Wings on Sunday. If all goes well in that outing, he's expected to rejoin Minnesota's rotation.
Revere hitting well, but bunting needs work
MINNEAPOLIS -- Ben Revere still needs to improve his bunting, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said, but he continues to give opposing defenses headaches.
Revere failed to get down a sacrifice bunt in the ninth inning of Tuesday's game against Oakland. Revere popped out to A's pitcher Brian Fuentes with runners on first and second and no outs. He also popped up on a bunt attempt in the seventh, though he was able to drop it between the pitcher and middle infielders for a base hit.
"On the sacrifice ... what you want to do is make the third baseman field the ball," Gardenhire said. "If you make him field the ball, then they have nobody at third. It looked to me like he tried to go to first base again, plus, the ball was out of the strike zone."
But Revere has been swinging well since being recalled from Triple-A Rochester on May 16. The 23-year-old is hitting .310 with four doubles in the 10 games since returning.
Additionally, Revere entered Wednesday's game with a four-game hitting streak and is hitting .421 over that span.
With defenses respecting his speed, Revere is finding himself with more empty places to put the ball, Gardenhire said.
"He brings a lot to the table," Gardenhire said. "That speed -- you can't find it. He's exciting. You see defenses against big guys do power shifts. Well, they have to set a defense up for him because he can do so many things at the plate. He's a fun player to watch."
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. Jordan Garretson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.