Twins hope to have all hands on deck vs. Tigers

Field Level Media

Minnesota Twins center fielder Byron Buxton is back in uniform, but he's not close to being back in the lineup.

Among a number of roster moves, the Twins activated Buxton from the 10-day injured list on Sunday. Minnesota will wrap up a four-game series in Detroit on Monday afternoon.

Buxton has been sidelined since Aug. 1 with a left shoulder subluxation. The injury occurred when he banged into the wall at Miami.

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He sustained a setback during a rehab assignment last week and still isn't swinging the bat.

Buxton's legs are healthy, so the Twins will take advantage of them. He'll be utilized as a defensive replacement and pinch runner. On Sunday, Buxton entered Minnesota's 8-3 victory in the ninth inning, playing center field.

"He's a guy who can do a ton of different things and help us win games, and that's what Buck wants," manager Rocco Baldelli said. "He wants to be part of what's going on right now."

It's unknown whether Buxton eventually will return to the lineup. He was batting .262 with 10 homers and 46 RBIs prior to the IL stint.

"He does things that nobody else can do," Baldelli said. "He could certainly help us win one or more games just in this role."

Jake Odorizzi (14-6, 3.55 ERA) will start Monday for the Twins. He recorded a victory in his last start on Wednesday, holding the Chicago White Sox to two runs on five hits in six innings. Odorozzi has won three of his past four decisions.

The 29-year-old right-hander has traditionally pitched well against the Tigers, going 5-1 with a 3.05 ERA in 10 starts. He's 3-0 with a 1.93 ERA in four career outings at Comerica Park.

He'll be opposed by Jordan Zimmermann (1-9, 6.24 ERA), who has pitched well since a short stint on the IL caused by a right cervical spasm.

Zimmermann has allowed a combined four runs and nine hits in 16 innings during those three starts. However, he only has a loss and two no-decisions to show for it.

In his last start on Wednesday, Zimmermann held the Cleveland Indians to two runs on five hits in six innings. He's faced Minnesota 10 times in his career, posting a 4-5 record and 6.89 ERA.

The Twins set the major league single-season mark for homers on Saturday when Mitch Garver delivered the record-setting 268th long ball in the ninth. They had 11 singles and one double Sunday in their win.

They've won seven of the past eight while increasing their American League Central lead over Cleveland to 5 1/2 games.

"It shows we have a real well-rounded team," outfielder Jake Cave said. "We have guys like Nellie (Nelson Cruz), one of the best power hitters in all of baseball, just consistently hitting RBI singles. I think it shows we can do a little bit of everything."

The Twins have worn out Tigers pitching while taking 10 of 15 in the season series. Many of their run-scoring hits on Sunday came against a defensive shift.

"Those guys are really good hitters over there," Detroit manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Even their big man (Cruz), he stayed back and punched one through the hole, too. That's what those guys do. They're good enough hitters that they can do those things."

--Field Level Media

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