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8/9/2014 7:57 P.M. ET

Mauer on track to return for Houston series

OAKLAND -- First baseman Joe Mauer's rehab assignment with Class A Cedar Rapids has been going well, and the Twins remain hopeful he'll be able to join them when they begin a three-game series in Houston on Monday.

Mauer, who has been on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right oblique since July 3, went 3-for-5 while playing nine innings at first base Friday night and reported no issues. He was back in the lineup at first base for his fourth rehab game Saturday, and went 2-for-4.

"He's doing fine," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We'll see where we'll go from there. Everything seems to be going good."

Gardenhire said the plan remains for Mauer to be activated from the DL on Monday as long as everything continues to go well.

"We're hoping it works out where he joins us in Houston," Gardenhire said. "He came in today a little sore but said he's good to go after five at-bats last night. He's had no problems whatsoever. Just normal soreness from playing nine innings in the field, which he hadn't done in a month-plus."

Fryer starts, gives May level of comfort behind plate

OAKLAND -- Given his familiarity with right-hander Trevor May, who made his Major League debut on Saturday, Eric Fryer made the start behind the plate against the A's.

Fryer worked with May in nine starts at Triple-A Rochester this season before being called up on June 12. It also gave regular catcher Kurt Suzuki a rest and marked Fryer's first start at catcher since Wednesday.

May was recalled from Triple-A Rochester on Friday to make his first big league start after posting a 2.93 ERA in 17 starts with the Red Wings.

"The way it worked out here was perfect," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He caught him down in the Minor Leagues. This works out good. Plus, Suzuki could use a blow."

Suzuki is scheduled to return to the lineup on Sunday to catch right-hander Phil Hughes.

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.