Mauer’s MRI shows minor inflammation

The Minnesota Twins say an MRI on Joe Mauer’s sore left knee shows only tissue inflammation and no structural damage.

Manager Ron Gardenhire says Mauer may need a cortisone shot to help with the pain, but only expects him to be out for a few more days. If he does take a shot, Gardenhire said the reigning AL MVP will miss four or five games tops.

It’s a big relief for the Twins, who have been without slugger Justin Morneau for more than two months because of a concussion.

Mauer is hitting .331 and is a big reason for the team’s surge to the top of the standings. He is batting .383 since the All-Star break.

The Twins entered Tuesday night’s game against Cleveland with a magic number of two to clinch the AL Central title.