By Joe Christensen
MILWAUKEE — Denard Span returned from Class AAA Rochester and will take batting practice with the Twins today, hoping to be activated from the disabled list Thursday.
Span has a swollen left thumb after getting hit with a pitch Tuesday in his final plate appearance for Rochester, but Manager Ron Gardenhire said, “I think he’ll be fine.”
Nick Punto still has sore ribs, so he’s out of the lineup again tonight after leaving Tuesday’s game in the seventh inning. He’s day-to-day.
Jason Kubel is past his flu symptoms and headaches, or at least enough to be back in the lineup. It’s going to be tough for him, and all of these guys to handle the severe heat expected here and in St. Louis over the weekend.
Kubel is in left field, so he won’t get the usual breaks he gets as the designated hitter.
Update: Be sure to check out La Velle’s midweek look around the Twins farm system.
Update: Punto will return to Minnesota on Thursday for a precautionary MRI exam of his rib cage. Gardenhire described the injury as cramping before the game, but the team is clearly searching for answers. Punto injured his ribs with a head-first slide into first base on Saturday against Houston.
1. Carlos Gomez, CF
2. Brendan Harris, SS
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Justin Morneau, 1B
5. Jason Kubel, LF
6. Michael Cuddyer, RF
7. Joe Crede, 3B
8. Matt Tolbert, 2B (Corrected)
9. Nick Blackburn, P
1. Craig Counsell, 2B
2. Mat Gamel, 3B
3. Ryan Braun, LF
4. Prince Fielder, 1B
5. Corey Hart, RF
6. Mike Cameron, CF
7. J.J. Hardy, SS
8. Jason Kendall, C
9. Braden Looper, P
Miller Park. First pitch: 7:05 p.m.