Mauer exits with strained right oblique

First baseman's status to be determined following Wednesday evaluation

Mauer exits with strained right oblique

MINNEAPOLIS -- First baseman Joe Mauer left Tuesday's game against the Royals, a 10-2 win, in the fifth inning after straining his right oblique on a swing on a double in the bottom of the fourth. He'll be re-evaluated on Wednesday.

With the bases loaded and one out, Mauer laced a two-run double to left field to give the Twins a four-run lead but grabbed at the oblique upon reaching second. He remained in the game despite a visit from manager Ron Gardenhire and trainer Tony Leo, and was stranded at second base.

But he was removed from the game in the top of the fifth, with Chris Parmelee moving from left field to first base and Josh Willingham taking over in left field.

"I've been kind of battling this area for about a week or so, or maybe a little more," Mauer said. "I've been getting stiff, but I've been getting it loose, and everything has been fine. But today on that one swing on the ball down the line, it felt like somebody hit me pretty hard right there."

Mauer won't be sure how much time he'll miss until he's looked at on Wednesday. Though he's hopeful he'll be able to avoid the disabled list, he admitted it's a painful injury and one he hasn't dealt with, so a stint on the DL can't be ruled out just yet.

"I've never had this happen before," he said. "I hope it's a lot sooner than what guys in the past have had."

The double extended Mauer's season-long hit streak to 12 games. He is hitting .362 with six doubles and 12 RBIs over that stretch to improve his slash line to .271/.342/.353 in 76 games.

"It's frustrating," he said. "I've been feeling pretty good and getting some results. So it's bad timing."

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.