MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Twins were hoping to see Joe Mauer back in the lineup this weekend, but the veteran first baseman experienced a setback in his recovery from concussion-like symptoms and his return could be delayed further.
Mauer worked out Thursday ahead of the Twins’ series opener against Cleveland at Target Field, but felt off while fielding grounders.
“It’s progressing, but today wasn’t where I wanted to be,” Mauer said. “They’re telling me that can happen. I had to back off it today. There are different levels we’re attacking, and today I got a better feeling for where I’m at, and I’m not there yet.”
Mauer went on the disabled list May 19 with a strained neck after making a diving attempt in a game against the Los Angeles Angels a day earlier. He experienced concussion-like symptoms after that, which were reminiscent of the concussion he suffered in 2013 — necessitating his move from catcher to first base.
“I definitely had the symptoms,” Mauer said. “If you have the symptoms, you probably had one. I’ve been having good days up until today. So I’m just more disappointed.”
The Twins will also be without center fielder Byron Buxton when the series resumes Friday night.
Buxton landed on the disabled list for the second time this season on Wednesday and underwent x-rays Thursday that revealed no further damage to his fractured big left toe.
“If it was up to me, I’d be playing today,” Buxton said. “It’s frustrating. But I’ve gotta keep it in perspective that it’s something that you can’t just rush back to and do what I did last time. So it’s more of a precaution thing now to get it healed up.”
Jose Berrios gets the start for Game 2 of the four-game weekend set. He allowed just two runs over 7 1/3 innings his last time out but took the loss as the Twins fell at Seattle.
Berrios has worked into the eighth inning in each of his last three starts, and has not allowed a run in three of his last four outings.
The Indians are dealing with injury issues of their own. Relief specialist Andrew Miller went back on the disabled list earlier this week with right knee inflammation.
He traveled to New York for a second opinion and was pleased to learn the issue was not more serious.
“I’m still playing catch. I threw flat-ground today,” Miller said. “I think the idea is to hopefully be off the mound while we’re here in Minnesota. That’s my hope. I don’t know if they’ll agree with that, but the goal is to keep going.”
Cleveland sends right-hander Carlos Carrasco to the mound Friday. Carrasco gave up five runs on seven hits while striking out eight over 5 2/3 innings in a victory over the Astros in his last start.
The Indians got a big boost Thursday when Francisco Lindor returned from a day off to collect four hits in their 9-8 victory, which extended their winning streak to six games.
Lindor had started Cleveland’s first 53 games before manager Terry Francona gave him a break Wednesday against the White Sox. The workload hasn’t been an issue for Lindor, who’s batting .300 with 12 home runs, 30 RBIs and a .913 OPS this season.