After 0-for-4 night, Willingham held out of lineup

After 0-for-4 night, Willingham held out of lineup

After 0-for-4 night, Willingham held out of lineup

MINNEAPOLIS -- After going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in Tuesday's 4-2 loss to the Tigers, outfielder Josh Willingham was held out of Wednesday's starting lineup.

Manager Ron Gardenhire said it was a good day to give Willingham a break. Darin Mastroianni started in left field in Willingham's absence with Ryan Doumit getting the start at designated hitter.

"He didn't have much success yesterday," Gardenhire said of Willingham. "I think he was a little devastated he didn't take too good of swings. He was a little flustered and I could see that, so this was a good day to let him sit and help me manage."

It's been a down year for Willingham, who is hitting just .211/.347/.375 with 14 homers and 48 RBIs in 108 games. The 34-year-old hit .260/.366/.524 with 35 homers and 110 RBIs in 145 games last year en route to winning an American League Silver Slugger Award.

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.