4/3/2014 7:24 P.M. ET
Colabello makes most of first start, and then some
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- After starting the first two games of the season at first base, Joe Mauer received his first game at designated hitter on Thursday against the White Sox.
Mauer entered Thursday's game in an uncharacteristic early-season funk, as he went a combined 0-for-8 with two walks in the first two games of the season. With Mauer serving as DH, Chris Colabello got his first start at first base on a rainy and cold day at U.S. Cellular Field.
"We gave it to Colabello because he's young and enthusiastic," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said with a smile, as Colabello is actually only six months younger than Mauer. "It's a little bit of a mudder game. So we're going to do this and give Joe a chance to DH and give Colabello a chance to go out there and play."
Colabello went on to drive in six runs, five on a pair of doubles, as the Twins rallied for a 10-9 victory.
Eduardo Escobar also made his first start of the season at shortstop over Pedro Florimon, while catcher Josmil Pinto made his first start in place of Kurt Suzuki. Pinto hit a big game-tying home run in the eighth inning.
"We'll use everybody like we always do," Gardenhire said. "Escobar is in there today. Everybody has to get a piece of the pie here. [Jason] Bartlett got in there and got an at-bat yesterday. So we'll just mix it up."
Mauer went on to collect his first hit of the season, going 1-for-4 and scoring two runs.
Duensing activated from paternity list; Tonkin optioned
CHICAGO -- Left-hander Brian Duensing rejoined the Twins before Thursday's game, as he was activated from the paternity list. Right-hander Michael Tonkin was optioned to Triple-A Rochester to make room for Duensing on the roster.
Duensing was originally placed on the paternity list on Monday after flying to Omaha on Sunday to attend the birth of his second child with his wife, Lisa. Boston Matthew Duensing was born at 9:19 a.m. on Monday, and weighed 6 pounds, 6 ounces.
"It was great," Duensing said. "Everything went well. The baby is healthy and Lisa is healthy, so that's all you can ask for. I would've liked to have been here for Opening Day, but other things were a little bit more of a priority, so I went home to take care of it."
Duensing, who arrived in Chicago late Wednesday after his first flight was cancelled for maintenance issues, also explained the rationale for naming his first son Boston, saying he wasn't named after the city.
"It had nothing to do with that," Duensing said. "When we were dating and got serious, we came up with baby names and liked that. It has nothing to do with the city or team or anything like that."
Duensing was placed right into the action, relieving Anthony Swarzak in the sixth after he alllowed four runs, capped by Jose Abreu's three-run triple. Duensing stranded Abreu at third, striking out Adam Dunn and getting Avisail Garcia to ground out to end the inning before the Twins rallied for a 10-9 victory.
Tonkin, meanwhile, flew to Buffalo, with Rochester set to open its season there. Tonkin tossed a scoreless 10th inning in the Twins' eventual 7-6 loss to the White Sox in 11 innings on Wednesday, and remains the club's top reliever at Triple-A.
"We like Tonkin a lot," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He's going to be in the big leagues with us. We like his arm and his stuff. He wasn't overwhelmed yesterday in a big situation. So he's going to go down there and pitch for them, but he's available any time we need him."
Fien appears fine after taking liner off ankle
CHICAGO -- Right-hander Casey Fien was diagnosed with a bruised left ankle after being hit by a line drive in Wednesday's 7-6 loss to the White Sox in 11 innings but threw without any issues before Thursday's game.
Fien threw a scoreless seventh inning on Wednesday but was hit by a line drive from Adam Eaton that ricocheted off his ankle and went right to Joe Mauer at first base for the final out of the inning.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he wasn't sure if he'd use Fien on Thursday but was relieved to hear Fien was OK after taking the line drive off his ankle. Fien posted a 3.92 ERA with 73 strikeouts in 62 innings last season, and has thrown 1 2/3 scoreless innings this year.
"He's a little sore, but actually his foot feels good," Gardenhire said. "He said in the hotel today it was a little stiff and sore, but that was expected. So it's good for us. We think he's going to be fine."