Now Commenting On:

{"event":["opening_day" ] }

Ramirez gets first start with Twins on Sunday

Ramirez gets first start with Twins on Sunday play video for Ramirez gets first start with Twins on Sunday

BALTIMORE -- Wilkin Ramirez made his first start with the Twins in right field against the Orioles on Sunday, leaving Darin Mastroianni as the only position player yet to start a game for Minnesota this season.

Ramirez, who made the club as an extra outfielder and pinch-hitter after a strong showing in Spring Training, went 1-for-3 and scored the winning run. He last started in a big league game on July 11, 2011 with the Braves, and has appeared in two games earlier this season as a pinch-hitter, going 1-for-2 with an RBI double. He hit seventh in the lineup on Sunday.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he thought it was a good time to get Ramirez in a game, as Orioles right-hander Jason Hammel is actually tougher on lefties, so left-handed hitter Chris Parmelee -- who homered in Saturday's win -- was benched in favor of Ramirez.

"Righties have some success here against him so it's a good opportunity to get him in there," Gardenhire said. "Parm had a good night there last night and now he can sit back. Wilkin needs some at-bats, and not just pinch-hitting."

Mastroianni, meanwhile, is still nursing a bruised left ankle and isn't ready to play nine innings. But Gardenhire is hoping Mastroianni can start a game in Kansas City this week or next weekend against the Mets.

"He's going to have to go out there and play soon," Gardenhire said. "I've tried to bide my time using him in certain spots but it's about time. They told me a couple days."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"event":["opening_day" ] }
{"event":["opening_day" ] }
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español