Ramirez starts in center to give Thomas a breather

Ramirez starts in center to give Thomas a breather

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins gave Clete Thomas a break against the White Sox on Sunday, as he had started every game in center field since rookie Aaron Hicks was optioned to Triple-A Rochester on Aug. 1.

Thomas was held out of the starting lineup in favor of Wilkin Ramirez, who made his first start in center since May 25. Ramirez sustained a concussion in that game after running into left fielder Josh Willingham, and didn't make his return until being activated from the disabled list on Monday.

With Hicks in the Minors and Ramirez on a rehab assignment, the Twins didn't have a backup for Thomas until Ramirez was reinstated.

"Clete has played every inning and every out since Hicks left," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He's done a really nice job for us. So I think he should get a little breather today. We need to see how Ramirez does out there. He needs some playing time out there."

Ramirez went 2-for-4 with a double during the 5-2 loss.

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.