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Morneau misses game with ear infection

Morneau misses game with ear infection

ARLINGTON -- Twins first baseman Justin Morneau was not in the lineup for Tuesday's 9-6 win over the Rangers after leaving Monday's game in the fourth inning due to dizziness.

Morneau has been battling an inner-ear infection in his right ear since the club returned home from its road trip to Detroit and Cleveland. He was given medication to treat it before the team left Minnesota.

But after still feeling a little dizzy and lightheaded on Monday night, Morneau -- prior to Tuesday night's contest -- saw a Rangers team physician, who said it was the lingering effects of that inner-ear infection. The first baseman was given new medication in hopes of helping to get rid of the vertigo.

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Morneau was considered to be available only in an emergency situation for Tuesday's contest, and he'll be re-evaluated Wednesday. So for now, the first baseman's status remains day-to-day.

"We'll give him another day here and go from there," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "With the dizziness and all that stuff, that's all we can do."

Morneau said the doctors told him the symptoms could come and go, and that he'll have to see how he feels on a daily basis.

The Twins have already had one player battle an inner-ear infection this season. Denard Span was forced to go on the disabled list in June due to vestibular neuritis, a type of inner-ear infection that caused him to feel dizzy and lightheaded as well. Span's infection lingered for most of that month, but the hope is Morneau's ear infection is not as serious as the one Span had.

"Obviously he had a tough time with it," Morneau said. "I don't want to go on the DL. But at the same time, if I go out there feeling dizzy and I've got a pitch coming at my head or something and I don't feel like I'm going to be able to get out of the way ... Hopefully it will be resolved and I'll feel better tomorrow."

With his team trying to fight its way back into the AL Central race, the timing of the ear infection is perhaps the most disappointing for Morneau .

"It's one of those things where we're really in need of some wins," Morneau said. "The boys came out and swung the bats [in Tuesday's 9-6 win]. So it doesn't make me feel like I need to rush and come back. But obviously you want to be out there in a pennant race when every game is so important."

Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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