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Gardenhire likes what he sees in Komatsu

Gardenhire likes what he sees in Komatsu

Gardenhire likes what he sees in Komatsu
MINNEAPOLIS -- A day after sitting out for the first time this season, center fielder Denard Span was back atop the lineup against the Angels on Wednesday.

Span was held out of action on Tuesday after running into the wall in Monday's game at Target Field. But the day off was scheduled, according to Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, and Span felt well enough to make his return on Wednesday.

With Span back in center, Erik Komatsu moved over to right field to mark his fifth straight start with the Twins since being claimed off waivers from the Cardinals on Friday.

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Komatsu picked up his first career RBI in Tuesday's 5-0 win, and is hitting .143 so far with the Twins. But as Gardenhire pointed out, he's been robbed of a few hits by the Angels' Torii Hunter in right field.

"I like the way he takes at-bats and goes about his business," Gardenhire said. "He takes good swings. He's not just Punch and Judy. He's up there taking some rips. I just told him he needs to be a little smarter with his hitting because there's a nine-time Gold Glove guy out there and he keeps trying to beat Torii in the gap, but that's not going to happen."

Komatsu is expected to split time in right field with Trevor Plouffe moving forward. Plouffe is hitting just .140 this season, but Gardenhire has been encouraged by the fact he's drawn 10 walks and struck out six times in 53 plate appearances.

"He's just missing pitches, but he's taking some good swings and has taken some big walks," Gardenhire said. "His batting average will come. He needs to keep the ball out of the air. He's just missing the ball. But he's taking good at-bats and is getting on base."

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