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Mauer scratched with stiff neck

Mauer scratched with stiff neck

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Catcher Joe Mauer was not in the Twins' starting lineup on Tuesday night against the Yankees due to a stiff neck.

Manager Ron Gardenhire said that he had originally slotted Mauer into the lineup, but the catcher informed his skipper of the neck problem when he arrived at the ballpark.

Mauer said he's been feeling some discomfort in his neck for the past few days, but it had really stiffened up on Tuesday.

"I woke up this morning, and it was pretty bad," Mauer said. "I was trying to do a few things to get it loose and ready, but I just wasn't able to get it going."

Mauer did not take any swings during batting practice, but he said that he hoped to get a little more treatment on the neck and be ready to play on Wednesday.

"It's getting better," Mauer said. "I'm going to get back up [in the clubhouse] and let the trainers work on me some more."

Gardenhire had originally planned to give Mauer the day off in the series finale against New York on Wednesday afternoon. That would have given Mauer back-to-back days of rest with the Twins' off-day on Thursday. But considering the way Mauer's neck was feeling, Gardenhire decided that it was better to give him the night off on Tuesday and start Mike Redmond in his place.

"There is no sense messing with that," Gardenhire said.

While the hope is still that Mauer can play on Wednesday, Gardenhire acknowledged after Tuesday's contest that he might have to turn to Redmond once again behind the plate. That's after Redmond caught all 12 innings of a nearly 4 1/2-hour contest.

"Mauer's neck wasn't good all night," Gardenhire said. "He couldn't really get anything going, so our veteran catcher might have to catch again."

Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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