Twins fall to Red Sox in extra innings

Published 11:29 am Saturday, May 18, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer was out of the lineup Friday night for the series opener against Boston because of a stiff back.

Manager Ron Gardenhire said Mauer woke up in the morning with discomfort but could be available to catch in an emergency if Ryan Doumit were also hurt. Gardenhire said Mauer would be re-evaluated Saturday.

“We’re hoping that this is short term and he’ll be able to play tomorrow,” Gardenhire said.

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Mauer has a 14-game hitting streak, tied for the third-longest of his career. The 30-year-old is batting .446 during the run. Chris Parmelee, hitting .204 entering the night, took Mauer’s place in the second spot in the batting order.

For the Red Sox, right fielder Shane Victorino was also out as a precaution after hurting his back the night before at Tampa Bay. He made a tough catch at the warning track in the eighth inning as he collided with the wall. Manager John Farrell also hoped Victorino would be available to play Saturday. Two weeks ago, Victorino missed seven games due to a problem with his back.

He said the discomfort that time was worse than this.

“I want to be smart about it,” Victorino said.

The Twins also announced backup outfielder Darin Mastroianni, on the disabled list for the last month due to a stress reaction in his left foot, will have surgery to fix a bone chip inside his ankle that has been preventing him from progressing. Assistant general manager Rob Antony said Mastroianni will need at least six weeks to recover from the operation, which is scheduled for Wednesday.

The Twins made a minor-league roster move, too, releasing left-handed reliever Rafael Perez from Triple-A Rochester. Perez was signed to a minor-league contract, coming off shoulder surgery, but didn’t improve to the point where the Twins believed he could help them in the majors this year. So Antony said they wanted to give him the opportunity to find a new team.

Perez posted a 3.64 ERA over seven years with the Cleveland Indians, averaging 66 innings per season.