Soreness forces Morneau to DH for finale

Soreness forces Morneau to DH for finale

CLEVELAND -- Justin Morneau was originally penciled in at first base against the Indians on Sunday, but asked Twins manager Ron Gardenhire if he could start at designated hitter instead.

Morneau, who is dealing with general soreness, according to Gardenhire, was granted his wish, as Chris Parmelee moved from right field to first base, and Oswaldo Arcia shifted from designated hitter to right field.

"He said he would rather DH today because he was feeling a little stiff," Gardenhire said. "But it was good because I would rather have Arcia out there playing [in the outfield] than at DH. And it moves Parmelee to first base. So it worked out."

It marked the first start of the year at designated hitter for Morneau, who started 25 of the club's first 26 games at first base, with his lone day off coming on April 27 against the Rangers. It's been a welcome change from last year, when Morneau was coming off several offseason surgeries and began the year as the designated hitter, starting a career-high 34 games there.

Morneau also joined an exclusive club Friday, when he recorded his 800th career RBI to join Harmon Killebrew, Kent Hrbek, Kirby Puckett and Tony Oliva as the only five players in Minnesota Twins history with at least 800 RBIs.

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.