ARLINGTON -- Josh Willingham started in left field and batted cleanup for the Twins in Saturday's game against the Rangers after missing the previous two games with a stiff neck.
He was a late scratch in Thursday's series opener after waking up with discomfort in his neck that morning. Unable to turn his head while he was hitting, Willingham was also out Friday.
"I just had a bad crick in my neck and it wouldn't let me turn around to hit, so I couldn't play," Willingham said. "It was feeling better [Friday] night. As long as I keep progressing, I should be out there."
One of eight players to hit 30 home runs this year, Willingham is batting .260 with 31 homers and 91 RBIs in 119 games. After hitting .283 with an American League-best 11 home runs and 27 RBIs in July, entering Saturday he was batting .205 with four homers and 12 RBIs in August.