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Ramirez starts in center to give Thomas a breather

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.

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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.

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