Span, who ranks second on the team in games played with 99, had started 14 straight games dating back to July 20.
Gardenhire said he approached Span before the game about getting the day off, and although Span didn't volunteer, Gardenhire thought it would be a good time to give him a rest.
"I'm giving everybody a break," Gardenhire said. "That's a good thing to have, to be able to give these guys a break when they've been playing a lot of baseball."
With Span out, Ben Revere started in center field, with Darin Mastroianni getting the start in right field. And after serving as designated hitter on Thursday and Friday and being held out of the lineup on Saturday, Josh Willingham returned to left field.