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Colabello makes most of first start, and then some

Colabello makes most of first start, and then some

CHICAGO -- After starting the first two games of the season at first base, Joe Mauer received his first game at designated hitter on Thursday against the White Sox.

Mauer entered Thursday's game in an uncharacteristic early-season funk, as he went a combined 0-for-8 with two walks in the first two games of the season. With Mauer serving as DH, Chris Colabello got his first start at first base on a rainy and cold day at U.S. Cellular Field.

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"We gave it to Colabello because he's young and enthusiastic," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said with a smile, as Colabello is actually only six months younger than Mauer. "It's a little bit of a mudder game. So we're going to do this and give Joe a chance to DH and give Colabello a chance to go out there and play."

Colabello went on to drive in six runs, five on a pair of doubles, as the Twins rallied for a 10-9 victory.

Eduardo Escobar also made his first start of the season at shortstop over Pedro Florimon, while catcher Josmil Pinto made his first start in place of Kurt Suzuki. Pinto hit a big game-tying home run in the eighth inning.

"We'll use everybody like we always do," Gardenhire said. "Escobar is in there today. Everybody has to get a piece of the pie here. [Jason] Bartlett got in there and got an at-bat yesterday. So we'll just mix it up."

Mauer went on to collect his first hit of the season, going 1-for-4 and scoring two runs.

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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