Back stiffness keeps Mauer out of starting lineup

Back stiffness keeps Mauer out of starting lineup

MINNEAPOLIS -- Joe Mauer was held out of the Twins' lineup against the Red Sox on Friday night because of back stiffness and is day to day.

Manager Ron Gardenhire said the injury isn't serious, as Mauer woke up with a sore back and the decision was made to keep him out for precautionary reasons. Ryan Doumit started at catcher in his place and hit fifth.

"It's pretty simple here -- he came in with a stiff back and there's no sense of him playing in this weather," Gardenhire said. "[The trainers] said to give him a day here and we'll go from there. I listen to what they say."

Earlier in the day, it was raining at the ballpark, and there is another threat of rain later in the evening.

Mauer has been on fire recently, as he's on a 14-game hit streak. He's batting .446 (25-for-56) with 11 doubles and 11 walks over that span to raise his batting average to .349 with a .431 on-base percentage.

He didn't take batting practice before Friday's game and his return for Saturday is still questionable.

"We're hoping this is short-term," Gardenhire said. "We're hoping he can play tomorrow."

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.