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9/22/2013 6:43 P.M. ET

Gardenhire keeps Pinto's bat in lineup at DH

OAKLAND -- Josmil Pinto remained in the Twins lineup Sunday even though Eric Fryer was given the start at catcher.

"I wanted to keep his bat in the lineup," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Sometimes it looks like he's the only guy on the field. He's getting after it, hustling. He's out there playing and I enjoy watching this young man play."

Pinto who served as the designated hitter Sunday, entered the game hitting .377 with three home runs and nine RBIs since being called up on Sept. 1.

Josh Willingham had told Gardenhire he was available to DH for the finale with the A's, against whom he has a career .396 mark, his best against any team.

"I told him I wanted Pinto in there because he was swinging a better bat," Gardenhire said. "Josh said, 'Thanks for being brutally honest.'"

Willingham missed Saturday's game with a sore left foot.

Mauer's workload awaiting medical clearance

OAKLAND -- Twins general manager Terry Ryan said Sunday that any decision involving Joe Mauer will have to wait until the catcher receives medical clearance.

"The most important thing is getting him 100 percent," Ryan said before the Twins' final road game of the season. "Once we get the clearance, we can move forward."

Mauer has been working out at Target Field the past few days, though it has mostly been cardio and weight work.

Ryan said Mauer has been progressing enough that he may get outside to begin light baseball activities sooner rather than later. There's very little chance of him returning to the lineup this season.

"He's been symptom-free the last couple of days," Ryan said. "Unfortunately we are running out of schedule. If he takes batting practice, fine. If not, so be it."

Ryan hopes the rehab can progress to the point Mauer can begin to prepare for Spring Training as he would normally.

Ryan said Mauer does core work and conditioning during the offseason.

"He's not one to do a bunch of hitting," Ryan said.

Mauer is hitting .324 and will likely enter next season with a seven-game hitting streak. He has not played since Aug. 19.

Mauer, who was diagnosed with a concussion after taking a foul ball off his mask, hit .438 (14-for-32) during his hitting streak.

Worth noting

• General manager Terry Ryan said the Twins' No. 6 prospect, right-hander Jose Berrios, "did not have a great year, he had a nice year." 

The 19-year-old was 7-7 with a 3.99 ERA with Class A Cedar Rapids. He struck out 100 in 103 innings and also allowed 105 hits. Ryan said Berrios will not play winter ball this season.

"We want him back fresh," Ryan said.

• Ryan also mentioned right-hander Trevor May, who was 9-9 with a 4.51 ERA at Double-A New Britain this year and will be sent to the Arizona Fall League.

"He took the ball every five days and gave us innings," Ryan said. "He needs to tune it up. Our system had a good year."

Rick Eymer is a contributor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.