Mauer played first base and batted third for the second game of an interleague series against the Cincinnati Reds. Mauer, who was out of the lineup for the past four games because of a bruised right thigh, went 1 for 4 with a double as the Twins lost 6-0.
Manager Ron Gardenhire said Mauer's thigh was fine and he could have caught on Saturday, but he wanted to give struggling first baseman Justin Morneau a day off. Morneau entered Saturday only 3 of 14 on Minnesota's road trip.
"So it serves two purposes," Gardenhire said before the game. "He's ready to catch. If I wanted him to catch today, he'd catch today. But Morney needs a break. I'm worried that there's rivers around here and that he might jump into the water and try to swim 'em because he's a little frustrated. I'd like him to walk across the bridges now, so I'm going to give him a break."
Meanwhile, Twins closer Matt Capps pitched the eighth inning, his first
appearance since June 15 because of a sore pitching shoulder. He
gave up an unearned run on a double, a walk and third baseman
Trevor Plouffe's error, throwing 23 pitches. Gardenhire said before the game that Capps was better and could be used in a non-save situation soon to ease him back into pitching.
"I know he wants to pitch, but we're trying to give him as many days as we can to make sure he's good," Gardenhire said before the game. "And you know what? We've been able to do that. And that hasn't changed.
"If we put him out there too early and he gets sore again, we're back to square one," Gardenhire said.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.