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Colabello goes deep in return to big leagues

Colabello goes deep in return to big leagues

MINNEAPOLIS -- Chris Colabello got his first start Friday since being recalled from Triple-A Rochester on Wednesday, as he served as the designated hitter against the Yankees and homered in his first at-bat.

Colabello made the most of his return, launching a solo homer off right-hander Chase Whitley in the second inning of Minnesota's 6-5 loss at Target Field. Colabello ended up going 1-for-4 with two RBIs.

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"He put a nice swing on the ball and he drove it out of the park," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We need more of that. It was a good start for him."

It marked Colabello's first game since May 23, as he was optioned to Rochester on May 25 after falling into a slump in May on the heels of a hot April. In his first stint with the Twins earlier this season, Colabello hit .232/.280/.377 with four homers, 10 doubles and 30 RBIs in 40 games.

"He had a great first month with us, but then he scuffled along," Gardenhire said. "But then he went down and found his swing again. So we just want him back out there and see him swing to see where he's at."

Colabello has had trouble adjusting to a bench role in the past but was swinging the bat well at Triple-A over the last month while getting consistent playing time. In his last 29 games at Rochester, Colabello hit .318/.392/.561 with six homers, eight doubles and 25 RBIs. Now he'll have to see if he can carry that over without playing every day.

"It is a role, and as a player you have to adjust to a role," Gardenhire said. "His role right now is going to be one of those [bench] guys, so he'll have to have his swing going when he gets in these games."

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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