Twins catcher Joe Mauer took batting practice with the rest of his teammates Thursday at Target Field, according to the Associated Press, but is still not in the starting lineup due to a tissue bruise in his left heel.
Wilson Ramos, batting .438 since his May 2 call-up, will continue to fill in at catcher for the Twins until Mauer is fully comfortable with spending nine innings in a crouched position.
Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire isn’t revealing a whole lot of information, but it would seem sensible for Mauer to be eased back into the starting lineup at DH. Ramos is hitting well enough to deserve an extended look in the big leagues and not having to crouch should help the long-term health of Mauer’s left heel.
The Twins are 19-9 this season and have won four straight games in Mauer’s absence. Good teams will do that. The superstar catcher was batting .345/.406/.500 with 10 extra-base hits before the injury.
The Red Sox salvaged the final game of their three-game home series against the Astros, winning 4-3 on Sunday afternoon. In doing so, they ended the Astros’ 10-game winning streak.
Xander Bogaerts struck the decisive blow, knocking in a run with a double in the seventh inning to break a 3-3 tie. Michael Chavis also hit another homer — his eighth of the season — while Mookie Betts collected three hits and scored three runs to raise his OPS to .899.
The Astros last lost on May 7 against the Royals, the second game of a three-game series. The Astros won the final game of that set, then swept the Rangers in a four-game series, the Tigers in three, and won the first two games against the Red Sox. It’s their second 10-game winning streak of the season, as they won 10 striaght between April 5-16, sweeping the Athletics, Yankees, and Mariners before losing the second of two games against the A’s in Oakland.
At 31-16, the Astros are slightly behind the Twins — in progress as of this writing — for the best winning percentage in the majors. The Red Sox, meanwhile, have made up some ground after ending April 13-17. They’re now 24-22, good for third place in the AL East.