DET@MIN: Pressly fans Hunter for first big league K

MINNEAPOLIS -- Considering he's a Rule 5 Draft pick who only reached Double-A last season, the Twins tried to take it easy on right-hander Ryan Pressly in the early going this season.

But Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said Pressly has been impressive enough that he doesn't have to worry about picking low-pressure spots for Pressly.

Pressly, who was selected from the Red Sox in December's Rule 5 Draft, has a 1.86 ERA with seven strikeouts and five walks in 9 2/3 innings this year.

"I don't see any problems pitching him anywhere," Gardenhire said. "With that velocity and that breaking ball, I'm not worried about him being afraid or anything like that. He goes right at them."

Pressly, a Dallas native, was effective against his hometown Rangers on Friday, allowing one run on just one hit over 2 1/3 innings, with three strikeouts. He gave up the one run on an RBI double by Ian Kinsler in the ninth.

"I like him," Gardenhire said. "He's not afraid. He wings it. He was throwing 94-95 mph last night with a nice breaking ball. Last night, it was great innings. The last hit he gave up I think was an 0-2 count, and he tried to throw it up in the zone but it didn't get there. But other than that, he didn't make too many mistakes."

Morneau among Twins regulars to rest

NYM@MIN: Morneau's homer breaks up Harvey's no-no

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins shuffled their lineup against the Rangers on Saturday, as first baseman Justin Morneau, third baseman Trevor Plouffe and right fielder Chris Parmelee were all on the bench.

In their place, Joe Mauer made his first start of the season at first base, Eduardo Escobar started at third for the first time this year and Wilkin Ramirez made his first start in right field since April 16.

"Everybody has to play and we have to give guys a break here and there," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We're going to have a day off in Cleveland, but we're going on a run where we'll be playing quite a few games on the road. The whole package. So we want everybody to stay sharp."

Gardenhire also added that Morneau is healthy and it was just time for him to get his first day off of the season, especially with left-hander Derek Holland on the mound for the Rangers.

"He's fine," Gardenhire said. "He could've played. But it's one of those things where we wanted to mix things around here."

Mauer also made his first start at first base since Sept. 20 of last season, but he did see plenty of action there last year, starting 30 games at first.

"He played there a lot last year," Gardenhire said. "He hasn't played there even in Spring Training, but has been taking ground balls over there the last few days with [coach Joe] Vavra hitting to him. But he's an athlete. I'm not too worried about him."

Worth noting

• Right-hander Cole De Vries, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a right forearm strain, threw two innings in an extended spring training game on Friday. He's expected to make another start in extended spring training before going on a rehab assignment that will likely begin at Class A Advanced Fort Myers.

• Outfielder Darin Mastroianni is scheduled to have the walking boot on his left removed in about a week. Mastroianni, on the 15-day DL with a left ankle stress reaction, will continue to rehab at Target Field before he is sent out on a rehab assignment.

Top prospect Miguel Sano, ranked as the No. 12 overall prospect according to MLB.com, is off to a hot start at Fort Myers. The 19-year-old is hitting .370/.429/.765 in 21 games while making four errors at third base. He also has nine homers, which leads all of Minor League Baseball.