Mauer makes move to second spot in lineup

Mauer makes move to second spot in lineup

MINNEAPOLIS -- It had been quite some time since the last time Joe Mauer saw his name in the two-hole in the Twins' lineup.

Mauer last batted second for the Twins on July 21, 2009, but was back in that spot Friday against the A's in the home opener at Target Field with Tsuyoshi Nishioka on the disabled list with a fractured bone in his lower left leg.

Mauer, who is a career .320 hitter with a .384 on-base percentage and .532 slugging percentage in 63 starts as the club's second hitter, said he was perfectly fine with the move out of the third spot in the lineup.

"I just want to be in the lineup, so I don't really care where I hit," Mauer said. "As long as we can score runs and be productive on the offensive side, I don't care if I'm batting two or three. I'll even lead off."

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he considered Alexi Casilla batting second, but decided to go with Mauer moving forward with Justin Morneau hitting third.

"Mauer is a great on-base guy, and it gives Morneau a chance to bat in the first inning, too," Gardenhire said. "So he'll get more at-bats this way, as they say. So we'll see."