DETROIT -- Justin Morneau was activated from the disabled list and returned to the Twins' lineup Wednesday night after being sidelined since May 1 with a sore left wrist.
Morneau was penciled in to bat fifth and play first base, a spot he hasn't seen much time at this season. Of 20 games played, only four have come at first, while in 16 games, he's been the designated hitter.
"It'll be easier to get back in the flow of the game [playing first] than it will be DHing," Morneau said. "It's almost like pinch-hitting four times. It's hard to stay in the flow of the game. And without playing for 15 days, I think it would be difficult.
"With it being more of a tendinitis issue, getting tight and sitting there for three innings, then going up and swinging as hard as I can. I think being out there, throwing ground balls in between innings, being involved ... will have it help to stay loose."
The slugger had taken batting practice Monday and Tuesday and reported no pain in his wrist, which led to his activation. First baseman Chris Parmelee was optioned to Triple-A Rochester.
Manager Ron Gardenhire originally wanted to take a more cautious approach with the wrist injury and ease Morneau back into it, but after a conversation with Morneau, he agreed to playing him at first. However, it didn't guarantee he'd be there again Thursday.
"We'll see how it goes here, and then we'll make some decisions," Gardenhire said. "It's just nice to have him ... Just to have his bat in the lineup [and] his presence is huge."
Gardenhire addresses Marquis' pace on hill
DETROIT -- Manager Ron Gardenhire is going to have a talk with Jason Marquis after the starter allowed five runs on nine hits in five innings in a 5-0 loss to the Indians on Tuesday.
Marquis signed a one-year deal with the Twins in the offseason and has compiled a 2-3 record and 6.68 ERA. However, that's not as worrisome to Gardenhire as the time Marquis has taken between pitches.
"He's got to pick up the pace," Gardenhire said. "It can't be 25-30 seconds between pitches. It can kill your offense. So can Derek Lowe, but that can kill your offense. It takes the momentum out of everything you do. You work so hard, you score a run or two and then you got to stand for 15-20 minutes playing defense ... and that can deflate you. We have to work a little bit faster."
Gardenhire said he was also a bit unhappy with how Marquis carried himself on the mound Tuesday.
"He was looking around to see where we were playing people. Those things don't float with me," Gardenhire said. "I don't like that stuff. We're playing him, if you don't like it then you turn around and you move them before you throw the ball. Don't second-guess it after you throw the ball and the ball's hit.
"And I'm not saying he did that, but he was looking around like 'Where are we?' And I don't like that. We're all together. I'm not saying he's against anybody, but that's mannerisms and those things play a big part."
Span scratched, but available off the bench
DETROIT -- After being held out of the lineup Tuesday with right hamstring tightness, center fielder Denard Span was a late scratch again Wednesday in Detroit.
Span had been set to hit leadoff and start in center field, but as batting practice was winding down, the Twins announced Span would be benched for precautionary reasons.
"Span had a little bit of a sore hammy after [Monday's] game," manager Ron Gardenhire said Tuesday. "It's no big deal."
It still didn't sound like a big deal, as the Twins said Span would be available to pinch-hit. Erik Komatsu, who is hitting .240 this season, replaced Span for the second straight day.
Span is hitting .292 and has a .358 on-base percentage in 34 games this year. His presence is especially missed against the Tigers, against whom he's had great success in his career. Span hits .353 (77-for-218) with eight doubles, eight triples, 23 RBIs in 53 games against Detroit.
Sixty-eight of the Twins' final 126 games (54 percent) will be played against the American League Central after only four of their first 36 games were against division opponents.
Dating back to September 2, 2010, Minnesota is 4-18 in its last 22 games against Detroit. In that span, the Twins have been outscored 142-93 and have hit .235 as a team.
Anthony Odoardi is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.