5/29/2013 8:30 P.M. ET
Morneau sits, Mauer at DH after long game
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
MINNEAPOLIS -- After a 14-inning game that lasted nearly five hours in Milwaukee on Tuesday night, Joe Mauer started at designated hitter while Justin Morneau was held out of the starting lineup against the Brewers on Wednesday.
Mauer, who caught all 14 innings, insisted on being in the starting lineup and made his 13th start of the year at DH. Mauer acknowledged that he had been getting beat up behind the plate on foul tips recently but said he felt good enough to play.
Mauer will also receive a new helmet made by Rawlings on Thursday that will offer him extra protection after he took several foul tips to the facemask.
"I feel probably like a lot of other guys in this clubhouse," Mauer said. "But it was nice to get the win, because it made the plane ride a lot better. So a little sore but here we are back at it again."
Morneau, meanwhile, started the game on the bench for just the second time this year and for the first time since April 27 against the Rangers.
"He was swinging a lead bat at the end of the game there," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He was sore. And he was sore the day before that, too, and in Detroit. But he wanted to play through it. But after last night's game, I wanted to give him a break."
Plouffe off DL but scratched against Brewers
MINNEAPOLIS -- Trevor Plouffe was officially activated from the seven-day concussion disabled list before Wednesday's game against the Brewers but was a late scratch from the lineup because of left calf tightness. He is day to day.
First baseman/outfielder Chris Colabello was optioned to Triple-A Rochester to make room for him on the roster. Eduardo Escobar shifted from shortstop to third base to take Plouffe's spot in the lineup, with Pedro Florimon getting the start at shortstop.
Plouffe had sustained the concussion May 22 when he was kneed in the head by Braves second baseman Dan Uggla while trying to break up a double play. He was activated the first day he was eligible, but his calf began cramping during sprints before Wednesday's game.
Plouffe said it was a relief that his concussion-like symptoms lasted only a few days, compared with the issues that Justin Morneau experienced for more than a year after sustaining a concussion in July 2010 and the problems that plagued Denard Span for several months in '11.
"Initially it was something I was pretty worried about, seeing Morneau and Span go through the same thing," Plouffe said. "I leaned on Morny for some advice, and he just said to be honest with yourself with this. And I did that, and luckily for me my symptoms went away after the third day, and I've been champing at the bit to get back since then."
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was also happy to have Plouffe activated after missing a week. Plouffe was riding an eight-game hit streak before sustaining the concussion in Atlanta.
"He's excited to be back and has done all his work," Gardenhire said. "He was approved to play, so it's nice to have him back out there."
Gardenhire also explained the rationale for optioning Colabello, who went 1-for-11 in five games after being called up when Plouffe landed on the DL. Gardenhire opted to keep Chris Herrmann on the roster because of his ability to catch and play the outfield, while Colabello is a first baseman with limited experience in right field.
"I've got first basemen and I've got right fielders," Gardenhire said. "Right now, we need versatility."
Save in 14th is Duensing's first in any league
MINNEAPOLIS -- Not only did left-handed reliever Brian Duensing pick up his first Major League save in Tuesday's 6-5 win over the Brewers, he picked up his first save in all of his years playing baseball.
Duensing, who has appeared in 188 games in the Majors and 106 in the Minors, said he did not even remember getting a save in high school or college.
"I think it was the first save of my life to be honest," Duensing said.
Duensing tossed a scoreless 14th inning to preserve the Twins' one-run lead but did give up a two-out hit to Jean Segura before getting Ryan Braun to ground out to third to end the game. He also had some help from his defense as second baseman Brian Dozier snared a liner from Norichika Aoki for the second out.
"It was not easy," Duensing said. "Dozier made an unbelievable play, and I got Braun to roll the ball over somehow. I thought it was in his wheelhouse. But it all worked out."
Duensing, who has a 3.60 ERA in 20 innings this year, was given the game ball after the save and had it authenticated. He also received the lineup card from the game.
"I'm glad Brian was able to get the job done," Twins catcher Joe Mauer said. "He's been throwing the ball well for us all year. So it was a neat deal for him to get a save."