MINNEAPOLIS -- Veteran sluggers Josh Willingham and Ryan Doumit were both held out of the lineup in Sunday's 5-1 loss to the Red Sox.
Willingham entered Sunday hitting just .103 (4-for-39) over his last 10 games with no homers to lower his average to .108 on the season. Wilkin Ramirez made the start in left field in his place. But Willingham came in as a pinch-hitter for Aaron Hicks in the eighth inning and struck out against reliever Koji Uehara.
Willingham then made a costly gaffe in the eighth, as he attempted to catch a deep line drive hit by Dustin Pedroia, but it went off his wrist and over the fence for a two-run homer.
"He's been fighting it a little bit," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He was pretty fired up last night and you don't see that too often. So just take a break."
Doumit was given the day off after catching in Saturday's slugfest that lasted three hours and 53 minutes. He was also involved in a collision at home plate with Red Sox catcher Ryan Lavarnway in the sixth inning.
"He played a four-hour baseball game and had a collision at home plate, so he was really beat up after the game," Gardenhire said. "So I think that's the best thing for him just to back off and give him a little bit of a break."
With Doumit out, Joe Mauer started behind the plate for the first time since missing Friday's game with back stiffness. Mauer started at designated hitter on Saturday and went 2-for-5 to extend his season-long hit streak to 15 games, but went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts on Sunday to end the streak.