ANAHEIM -- After playing in every inning of the Twins' first 21 games, catcher Joe Mauer was held out of the lineup against the Angels on Monday after taking a foul ball off his left knee Sunday.
Mauer was hit right above his knee by a foul tip from Royals catcher Brayan Pena in the ninth inning of the Twins' 7-4 win over Kansas City. Mauer stayed in the game but said that Monday was a good day to get his first day off this season.
"I'm pretty sore from yesterday," Mauer said. "I'm going to get in there and get some treatment like I've been doing. Hopefully, I'll be back in there [Tuesday]."
Manager Ron Gardenhire said Mauer was held out mostly for precautionary reasons and that he expects Mauer to be back in the lineup Tuesday.
"We'll just back him off a bit," Gardenhire said. "He's available for the ballgame but he has a little soreness in his knee, so there's no sense in messing around with it."
Adding to the reasons to sit Mauer was the fact that he's just a career .091 hitter (2-for-22) against Angels left-hander C.J. Wilson.
"He doesn't have great numbers against him, but he's 1-for-3 this year," Gardenhire said with a smile. "But yeah, it's ugly."
Gardenhire said he still hadn't decided whether Mauer will make his next start at catcher, first base or designated hitter. But Mauer said he'd like to get back behind the plate, especially with left-hander Francisco Liriano set to start Tuesday after missing his last start to clear his head after a rocky start to the year.
"I want to be back there every day if I could, but it's not going to happen, I guess," said Mauer, who is hitting .325 this season. So I'd definitely like be back in there [Tuesday]."