Kubel returns, Valencia stays out

Kubel returns, Valencia stays out

MINNEAPOLIS -- Jason Kubel returned to the lineup as the Twins' designated hitter on Sunday after missing four games with a bruised left wrist, an injury he sustained after being hit by a pitch on Tuesday night.

Though Kubel was back in the lineup, third baseman Danny Valencia missed a second consecutive game with a tight right hamstring. Manager Ron Gardenhire said that Valencia was feeling good on Sunday but that they'd rather keep him out at least one more day.

"One more day being out won't hurt him," Gardenhire said. "I wanted him to get out there on the field and do some running. You just don't want to mess with it."

As for Brian Fuentes, Gardenhire said that the left-hander's back was feeling a lot better on Saturday, but he had not had a chance to see if Fuentes would be available for Sunday's contest.

Gardenhire had wanted to activate infielder Nick Punto from the disabled list to have an extra utility player on the bench to possibly pinch bunt, since Punto is not fully ready to play, but at least one Twins doctor feels that Punto needs another week for his strained left hamstring to heal.