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Escobar returns to lineup following hot start

Escobar returns to lineup following hot start

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he was trying to find more playing time for utility infielder Eduardo Escobar, who has been the club's hottest hitter so far this season in a backup role.

Escobar was hitting .483 (14-for-29) entering Sunday's game against the Rangers, when he started at shortstop to mark the first time this season he started on back-to-back days.

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Escobar, who was acquired along with Pedro Hernandez in the trade that sent Francisco Liriano to the White Sox before last year's Trade Deadline, went 2-for-4 while playing third base Saturday.

"He's playing high school baseball," Gardenhire joked. "He's doing great. That's why I ran him back out there again today to find another spot for him. He's swinging it really good. You never know how long you're going to stay on that surfboard before someone knocks you off. So you just ride it and go from there."

Gardenhire added he was been pleasantly surprised by Escobar's power, as Escobar had a homer, a triple and a double entering Sunday's game, and he flied out to the warning track in center field Saturday.

"He's got some pop," Gardenhire said. "It's surprising. And he has a cannon for an arm. He's a nice player. There's a reason why we got him in that trade, and he's showing us why."

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.

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