Kubel could return to lineup by Tuesday

Kubel could return to lineup by Tuesday

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins could be getting Jason Kubel back in the lineup as early as Tuesday. Kubel, who has missed four games with a sore left wrist, was swinging well during batting practice before Monday's 9-3 win against the Indians, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.

"He's chomping at the bit to get going, but we also want to make sure he's good and healthy," Gardenhire said. "He looked like he was swinging good in BP, and I talked to him after that."

The Twins also got center fielder Denard Span back in the lineup on Monday after he missed three games with a sore right shoulder, which he injured while diving for a ball on Thursday night in Chicago.

With the Twins closing in on the American League Central title as their magic number sat at four entering Monday, Gardenhire was asked if it was more important to rest his players over the final two weeks of the season or to continue to push for the best record in the AL, which would get them home-field advantage in the first two rounds of the playoffs.

"We just want to win our division and go from there," Gardenhire said. "I think we've mentioned this before, you want both. You want to be healthy and you'd love home field. You have to keep playing. You can't just stop playing and coast in [to the postseason].

"You have to be playing good baseball by the time the playoffs get here. I've been there before and we've seen it. You want to stay on a roll and keep guys sharp. You want to make sure you're healthy, too. Home-field advantage is huge. We'd love to have it."