© 2012 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.

09/24/12 11:20 PM ET

Twins try to ramp up game against contenders

MINNEAPOLIS -- After taking two out of three in Detroit over the weekend, the Twins are looking to play the role of spoiler in their final homestand of the season against the Yankees and Tigers.

New York entered Monday's game just a half-game up on the Orioles in the American League East, while the Tigers entered the day one game back of the White Sox in the AL Central.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he'll use his regular lineups against both New York and Detroit, hoping his club presents a challenge to contending teams.

"We want to finish strong," Gardenhire said. "There's some big-time competition, and we have Detroit again, so it's good to see where you're at as a player."

First baseman Justin Morneau said the Twins have remained focused and are embracing their role as spoiler, but he admitted he'd rather be in contention.

"We're just going out and playing just as we normally would, but you wish you were on the other side of it, playing for a division title and to make the playoffs," Morneau said. "So I'm not sure it adds anything or not, but it's always entertaining playing these guys. I've said all along we're going to battle to the end, so we want to give these teams a tough time."

Willingham to have MRI after straining shoulder

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins left fielder Josh Willingham left Monday's 6-3 loss to the Yankees in the top of the eighth inning with a left shoulder strain. He is day to day.

Willingham injured his shoulder in the seventh while leaping near the left-field wall in an attempt to rob Eric Chavez of a home run.

Willingham was replaced by rookie Chris Herrmann to start the eighth inning. Herrmann went 0-for-1 in Willingham's absence, grounding out in the bottom of the ninth.

Willingham is set to have an MRI exam on his shoulder on Tuesday, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said after Monday's game.

Capps pleased to return before season ends

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins activated right-handed reliever Matt Capps from the 15-day disabled list before their 6-3 loss to the Yankees on Monday.

Capps, who had last pitching on July 16, entered the game in the top of the ninth and tossed a scoreless inning. The righty spent more than two months on the DL with right rotator cuff irritation.

Capps' shoulder responded well after he threw in simulated games on Wednesday and on Saturday. The righty threw three innings in Fort Myers, Fla., on Saturday and said he's happy he won't close the season dealing with an injury.

"Nobody wants to finish the year on the DL," Capps said before the game. "So just to get back for a couple of games is huge."

Capps, 29, posted a 3.81 ERA with 14 saves in 15 chances spanning 28 1/3 innings before going on the DL.

Parmelee back with Twins after birth of son

MINNEAPOLIS -- Chris Parmelee rejoined the Twins on Monday after missing the previous four games to attend the birth of his first child with his wife, Amanda.

The couple welcomed the birth of their son, Jack Jeffrey, in Southern California early Thursday. He weighed 6 pounds, 15 ounces and was 20 inches at birth.

Parmelee wasn't in the starting lineup against the Yankees, but he hit a two-run triple as a pinch-hitter with two outs in the ninth inning of the Twins' 6-3 loss. Parmelee is expected to play on Tuesday, according to Twins manager Ron Gardenhire.

"He's not going to play today, but he'll be back out there," Gardenhire said before the game. "So that'll be a nice thing."

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.