SEATTLE -- Drew Butera's 15-game stint with Triple-A Rochester wasn't something the 28-year-old catcher wanted to go through, but he said he's better for the experience.
Butera, whose defensive skills have always been held in high regard, returned to the Twins on Tuesday and to the starting lineup on Friday night, catching starter Carl Pavano while Joe Mauer assumed designated-hitter duties. Butera made the Twins' Opening Day roster in 2011 and played 93 games, batting .167. He hit .273 in Spring Training, but was cut in late March.
He said he arrived at Triple-A with a different mindset, and it paid off. Butera hit .279 (12-for-43) with three doubles, one homer and five RBIs with the Red Wings.
"It was about just having better at-bats, more quality at-bats," Butera said. "It wasn't so much worrying about having a better average, or hitting home runs or driving guys in, just having a quality at-bat and do the things I need to do -- move guys over, drive guys in when I have the opportunity to. It's something that, when I went down there, I took more pride in."
Twins acting manager Scott Ullger said he liked what he saw from Butera in batting practice.
"He's swinging better," Ullger said. "He took extra BP and hit the ball hard through the middle. Of course, that's just BP and we'll see what happens in the game. But he does look more confident."
Morneau sits out another game
SEATTLE -- Justin Morneau's name wasn't in the lineup for the Twins' series opener against the Mariners on Friday night, but it could be soon. At this point, it's up to Morneau.
Morneau, who has been saddled with soreness in his left wrist, got good news on Wednesday in Minnesota. Hand specialist Thomas Varecka's MRI exam showed inflammation and fluid in the wrist, which underwent a surgical procedure last September to stabilize a tendon.
Morneau made the trip to Seattle with the hope that he could be in Friday's lineup, but acting manager Scott Ullger said Morneau didn't feel up to it. Ullger, the Twins' bench coach who's filling in for manager Ron Gardenhire in the skipper's seat while Gardenhire is in Minneapolis for the weekend attending his daughter Tara's college graduation, said the club is leaving the daily decision on Morneau's place in or out of the lineup up to the first baseman.
"It's a situation where we're going to trust Justin when he feels right and when he's comfortable to get back in there," assistant general manager Rob Antony said. "It's what he's comfortable doing, and we'll leave it up to him and the trainers."
Morneau, who is batting .230 with four home runs and nine RBIs in 20 games, is not considering a cortisone injection as of now, Antony said.
Twins looking forward to Weaver rematch
SEATTLE -- Having been no-hit by Angels ace Jered Weaver in their last game before arriving in Seattle, the Twins were likely trying not to think about that game and the pitcher who executed it. Then again, Minnesota will likely be facing the very same lanky right-hander in Minneapolis on Monday when the Twins return to Target Field.
Twins acting manager Scott Ullger said his team's offensive effort against the Angels on Wednesday was "pretty much as rock bottom as you can get, getting no-hit," but that "it's not how you go down, it's how you come back up."
"It's how you prepare yourself when you get knocked down to get back up and try to win," Ullger said. "Nobody out here likes losing, believe me. That's about as bad a way as you can lose. We'll get off the schneid."
Ullger pointed out that Weaver has better numbers at home than on the road, and a look at those numbers proves he's right. Weaver has gone 45-18 at home and 41-29 on the road in his career, and he's posted a lifetime ERA of 2.59 at Angel Stadium and 3.90 elsewhere. Weaver has gone 6-2 with a 3.73 ERA against the Twins, but he's 0-1 with a 3.63 ERA against them in three games at Target Field.
"Great pitcher, and obviously he pitches better at home than he does on the road," Ullger said. "[He's got] three good pitches, he's got a good angle, keeps the ball down, and he was on [Wednesday] night. He had them all working."
Antony said new outfielder Erik Komatsu, who was claimed off waivers from the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday and was scheduled to join the team in Seattle on Saturday, is a player the team has been eyeing for a while.
"We liked him and considered him in the Rule 5 Draft this winter when we selected Mr. [Terry] Doyle," Antony said. "But we decided to go for the pitcher. We thought that was a spot we were trying to solidify. ... We continued to follow him through Spring Training and the beginning of the season. ... He can play all three outfield positions, he can run, [he's an] average fielder, average arm, and he's always hit in the Minor Leagues. "Granted, he hasn't played above Double-A until this year, but he's always hit and he had a career OPS over .800. So he's got a little bit of pop, too, and he can run. It's a situation where we thought we could add a player we liked, give him a shot. There's opportunity here."
Ullger said Mauer's sore knee is still keeping him from catching, but Mauer started Friday's game at designated hitter and the Twins will try to make sure he's playing every day. "I hope just to have him in the lineup," Ullger said. "If it's DH, that's fine. If it's first base, that's fine."
Entering Friday, opposing hitters are hitless in their last 25 at-bats against Twins reliever Jared Burton. He has not allowed a run in his last eight appearances (8 1/3 innings) since April 13.