Morneau among Twins regulars to rest

Morneau among Twins regulars to rest

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins shuffled their lineup against the Rangers on Saturday, as first baseman Justin Morneau, third baseman Trevor Plouffe and right fielder Chris Parmelee were all on the bench.

In their place, Joe Mauer made his first start of the season at first base, Eduardo Escobar started at third for the first time this year and Wilkin Ramirez made his first start in right field since April 16.

"Everybody has to play and we have to give guys a break here and there," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We're going to have a day off in Cleveland, but we're going on a run where we'll be playing quite a few games on the road. The whole package. So we want everybody to stay sharp."

Gardenhire also added that Morneau is healthy and it was just time for him to get his first day off of the season, especially with left-hander Derek Holland on the mound for the Rangers.

"He's fine," Gardenhire said. "He could've played. But it's one of those things where we wanted to mix things around here."

Mauer also made his first start at first base since Sept. 20 of last season, but he did see plenty of action there last year, starting 30 games at first.

"He played there a lot last year," Gardenhire said. "He hasn't played there even in Spring Training, but has been taking ground balls over there the last few days with [coach Joe] Vavra hitting to him. But he's an athlete. I'm not too worried about him."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for 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.