Suzuki, Pinto get rare start in same lineup

Suzuki, Pinto get rare start in same lineup

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire usually shies away from using two catchers in the same lineup without having the benefit of a third catcher on the roster, but he bucked that trend on Wednesday against the Red Sox.

Josmil Pinto made the start at catcher while Kurt Suzuki served as designated hitter, as both have been swinging hot bats. Gardenhire said Suzuki will catch again on Thursday with right-hander Phil Hughes starting for the Twins.

"Pinto needs at-bats and I wanted him to hit," Gardenhire said. "And tomorrow is a day game and I wanted Suzuki and Hughes to work together again. And Suzuki is swinging great, so why take him out? So I just put both of them in there."

In the past, Gardenhire has been wary of putting two backstops in the lineup because if the starting catcher gets hurt and has to be replaced by the DH, the Twins would have to let their pitchers hit or use pinch-hitters the rest of the game. That's why Gardenhire liked having Chris Herrmann on the roster as a third catcher and backup outfielder, but Herrmann struggled offensively and was optioned to Triple-A Rochester on Thursday.

"If something happens, we'll change it and ad lib the rest of the game and go from there," Gardenhire said.

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.