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Roster hopeful Kubel regains swing

Roster hopeful Kubel regains swing play video for Roster hopeful Kubel regains swing

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- As a nine-year big league veteran, Jason Kubel doesn't put much stock into Spring Training stats.

But Kubel, who is trying to make the club as a non-roster invitee, admitted it was nice to break out of his slump early in spring with a solo homer off Rays left-hander David Price on Tuesday.

Kubel entered the game just 1-for-14 in Grapefruit League play, but feels like his swing is starting to come around.

"It felt good to finally hit one hard," Kubel said. "The results aren't there, but I feel like over the last few games, my last four or five at-bats are feeling pretty good. So if it keeps getting better each day before the season starts, I'll be right where I want to be."

Kubel still has a strong shot to make the club as a designated hitter/outfielder, but he has to prove he can contribute offensively after an injury-plagued season last year in which he hit just .216 with five homers and 32 RBIs in 97 games with the D-backs and Indians.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire is familiar with Kubel, who played with the Twins from 2004-11, and was pleased to see him snap his recent funk with a homer.

"He can click on a baseball -- we know that," Gardenhire said. "It's just a matter of time. We'll see more at-bats and we'll go from there."

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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