Mauer, Victorino out for Red Sox-Twins opener

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.

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.