Twins Tuesday: Gardenhire tweaks Minnesota’s lineup

The Minnesota Twins rolled out a unique lineup Tuesday, already their 13th different batting order of the young season.

Infielder Eduardo Escobar is in the leadoff spot for Tuesday’s game against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. The Twins used Aaron Hicks in the leadoff spot for the first week and a half before slotting Brian Dozier into that spot.

Dozier had been hitting well in the top spot of the order, as he is batting .324 with four RBI in nine games as the leadoff hitter. He was not in the lineup Tuesday, however, as Escobar got the nod atop the batting order.

Escobar has been one of Minnesota’s best hitters early on. In 15 games (32 at-bats), he’s hitting .438 and slugging .625 with a double, a triple and a home run. He’s also driven in five runs.

Meanwhile, Wilkin Ramirez gets the start in center field in place of Hicks and is batting eighth in the lineup. Until Tuesday, Hicks had played center field in all but two of Minnesota’s games, with Darin Mastroianni getting the start in the other two. But Mastroianni is currently on the disabled list with a stress reaction in his foot.

Tuesday marks Ramirez’s first career start in center field in the majors. In 44 career games, he has played both left and right field for Detroit, Atlanta and now Minnesota. But he does have experience playing center field in the minors (72 games). He’ll be joined in the outfield Tuesday night by left fielder Oswaldo Arcia and right fielder Chris Parmelee.

Also in the lineup Tuesday is catcher Joe Mauer, who is in the middle of an 0-for-20 slump after going 0-for-4 on Monday. Mauer has yet to have a day off this season as Tuesday marks his 23rd game of the season. Historically, Mauer has hit well against Tuesday’s Tigers starter, Justin Verlander. In 71 career plate appearances against Verlander, Mauer is batting .373 with three home runs, nine RBI and 12 walks. Perhaps facing Verlander might cure what ails Mauer, as counterintuitive as that sounds.

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