ARLINGTON -- Jim Thome had originally been slotted as the designated hitter for the Twins on Wednesday, but he's still battling some soreness in his right thigh after getting hit with a 97-mph fastball in Tuesday's 4-3 loss to the Rangers.
Thome said that he tried to run out on the field Wednesday afternoon, but he couldn't get his leg loose. So manager Ron Gardenhire instead shifted Jason Kubel to the DH spot and slotted Jason Repko in right field.
Thome got hit with a first-pitch fastball from Rangers closer Neftali Feliz when he pinch-hit with two outs in the ninth inning on Tuesday. Thome, who represented the tying run, was hit right after pitching coach Mike Maddux made a visit to the mound to talk with Feliz. So there were questions as to whether the pitch might have been intentional.
"I don't know," Thome said. "That's the thing. You have to go ask him. I will say it leaves the thought in your mind, I guess. But who knows? I can't really answer that to be honest. It doesn't feel good, I'll tell you that."
Gardenhire wouldn't speculate as to whether the pitch was intentional, but he said that Texas manager Ron Washington would not have authorized for his closer to hit Thome, unless there was a beanball war going on. And Gardenhire emphasized that there was no beanball war going on in Tuesday's contest.
"I know Washington and trust in him enough to know that he will never say, 'Drill this guy,'" Gardenhire said. "I know that for a fact."
While Thome was not in the starting lineup, he was considered available to pinch-hit if needed.