Colabello back in starting lineup on Thursday

Colabello back in starting lineup on Thursday

MINNEAPOLIS -- After a hot month of April, Chris Colabello has cooled off in May. But he was given the start on Thursday against the Red Sox, his first since Sunday.

Colabello hit .295/.343/.484 with three homers and 27 RBIs in 24 games in April, but entered Thursday batting .149/.200/.234 with one homer and three RBIs in 13 games in May.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he believes Colabello got worn out from playing every day, including 16 starts in right field for the natural first baseman. Colabello made his 12th start at first base on Thursday, with Joe Mauer serving as designated hitter.

"I think he needed [a break], because we pressed him to the limit and played him an awful lot, so I think he got a little worn down," Gardenhire said. "We used him as a pinch-hitter the last few days. But he has a great attitude."

Gardenhire added that Mauer is feeling much better after dealing with lower back issues last week, but he just felt like Thursday was a good day to get Colabello at first base and allow Mauer to take a day off from playing first.

"Any time you can get a chance like this and you can move some guys around and back problems are never easy to deal with," Gardenhire said. "But he's feeling great and he's doing fine. But I just wanted to get Colabello on the field."

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.