Morneau held out with flu, Colabello starts

Morneau held out with flu, Colabello starts

MINNEAPOLIS -- First baseman Justin Morneau came in with flu-like symptoms on Saturday morning and was held out of the lineup against the Mariners. Chris Colabello got the start at first base in his absence, and went 1-for-4 in a 5-4 walk-off win over the Mariners.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he's not sure how long Morneau will be out, as he was resting in the training room before the game and didn't feel sick until Saturday morning.

"Morneau is sick," Gardenhire said. "He came in with the flu. I'm not sure what it is. He's just back in the trainer's room. The trainers came in and said he's sick. So he's out."

With Morneau out, Colabello made his first career big league start at first base. It marked the third career start for Colabello, who also has started in right field and as designated hitter.

Gardenhire said he considered starting Chris Herrmann behind the plate with Chris Parmelee at first base and Ryan Doumit in right field, but he wanted Doumit to catch Kevin Correia. So Colabello started at first with Parmelee in right field and Doumit behind the plate.

"I was weighing my options between Colabello and maybe Herrmann catching, but Doumit had come over with Correia [from the Pirates] and caught him over there," Gardenhire said. "So I went with the veteran catcher. It was a tough decision. But I'd like to see Colabello swing. He's been swinging the bat well in BP."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. Kelly Erickson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.