Mauer activated; Buxton placed on DL

Mauer activated; Buxton placed on DL

HOUSTON -- As expected, first baseman Joe Mauer was reinstated from the 10-day disabled list on Saturday, and outfielder Byron Buxton, who left Friday's game with a groin injury, was placed on the 10-day DL.

Mauer had missed six games because of a strained lower back. Since June 20, he is batting .345 with a .429 OBP.

Manager Paul Molitor welcomes Mauer's bat as well as his defensive ability.

"It's an experienced bat that knows how to slow the game down and gives you a good chance," Molitor said. "I always feel good when Joe's up there, trying to get something started, get a big hit, extend an inning. He takes the best and most consistent at-bat of anybody on our squad."

Buxton and Kennys Vargas both exited Friday's 10-5 loss to Houston early. Buxton tweaked his right groin scoring from first base on Brian Dozier's bases-clearing double in the fourth, slipping a bit rounding second base. He remained in the game, but the injury worsened as the game went on, and he was taken out in the bottom of the sixth.

Dozier's bases-clearing double

"We're not sure if he'll be healthy in four or five days or six days," Molitor said. "But the timing is right, and his leg is such a huge part of his game that you don't want him to be battling that, at less than 100 percent going into the last few months of the season.

"So we'll take the 10 days and try to get it right. It's too much of a risk. His best asset right now is speed, and we want to get that back and not worry about it continuing to be aggravated."

Vargas, who was recalled when Mauer went on the DL, left Friday's game with a foot injury in the seventh inning. X-rays where negative, and the foot responded to treatment on Saturday.

Richard Dean is a contributor to MLB.com based in Houston and covered the Twins on Saturday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.