BOSTON -- With Danny Valencia being traded to the Red Sox for Minor League outfielder Jeremias Pineda on Sunday, the Twins recalled infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka from Triple-A Rochester to take his place on the roster.
Nishioka, 28, hit .245 with a .309 on-base percentage and .301 slugging percentage in 84 games with the Red Wings. The switch-hitter also had one homer, 13 doubles, a triple and 24 RBIs while seeing time at second base and shortstop.
But he had been hitting better recently, as he batted .298 in 27 games in July.
"Our staff says he's playing as good a baseball as he's been playing," assistant general manager Rob Antony said. "If you want to find out something about this guy, now is the time to find out. He's been playing well. So, we'll bring him up."
Nishioka, who was signed to a three-year, $9.25 million deal before last season, struggled mightily with Minnesota last year.
He hit just .226/.278/.249 with five doubles and 19 RBIs in 68 games. He missed two months early in the season after breaking his left leg on April 7, when Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher slid into him at second base.
He was optioned to Triple-A Rochester this spring, as he fell behind veteran Jamey Carroll and rookie Brian Dozier on the depth chart in the middle infield.
Nishioka will join the Twins in time for Monday's game against the Indians in Cleveland. His stay with Minnesota could be short, considering that third baseman Trevor Plouffe is expected to come off the disabled list sometime next week.
But Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said Nishioka will see time in the infield this week.
"He'll be playing," Gardenhire said. "We're going to bring him up here to play and see what he can do. He went down there and did everything we've asked. He's worked very hard at the game, and out staff down there says he's playing very good baseball."
Span out of the lineup against Red Sox
BOSTON -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire opted to give center fielder Denard Span a break, as he was held out of the starting lineup against the Red Sox on Sunday.
Span, who ranks second on the team in games played with 99, had started 14 straight games dating back to July 20.
Gardenhire said he approached Span before the game about getting the day off, and although Span didn't volunteer, Gardenhire thought it would be a good time to give him a rest.
"I'm giving everybody a break," Gardenhire said. "That's a good thing to have, to be able to give these guys a break when they've been playing a lot of baseball."
With Span out, Ben Revere started in center field, with Darin Mastroianni getting the start in right field. And after serving as designated hitter on Thursday and Friday and being held out of the lineup on Saturday, Josh Willingham returned to left field.
Walters has scoreless Triple-A rehab outing
BOSTON -- The Twins received positive reports on Sunday about right-hander P.J. Walters' rehab outing with Triple-A Rochester on Saturday night.
Walters, who has been out since June 14 with right shoulder inflammation, tossed two perfect innings for the Red Wings. He threw 18 pitches, 11 of which were strikes.
Walters is expected to make a few more rehab starts, as he's on the 60-day disabled list.
"He felt good," Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony said. "We'll play it by ear; he's been out a long time, so it's going to depend on how he feels. We'll increase him, and when he's ready to go and resume normal activity, then we'll do something." Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said the club will decide what to do with Walters once he's healthy, as the rotation has been solid recently. In nine games dating back to July 27, Twins starters have a 2.20 ERA.
"Whatever presents itself, we'll figure it out," Gardenhire said. "I hope he gets better and I hope he gets well, but he's got a ways to go. He's still on the 60-day DL, so he still has a lot of time here. So we'll keep going with what we have, and once those things present themselves, we'll figure it out."
De Vries strong in first Fenway Park start
BOSTON -- Lost in the shuffle of Joe Mauer's game-winning three-run homer in the ninth inning against the Red Sox on Saturday was an impressive pitching performance from rookie right-hander Cole De Vries.
De Vries, making his 10th career start and his first at Fenway Park, gave up just two runs on four hits and two walks over seven innings. He also finished his outing strong, retiring 17 of the last 20 batters he faced.
"I was definitely amped up going out there just because of the history," De Vries said. "It's the oldest ballpark in the country and you're pitching against the Boston Red Sox. So the first inning I started settling down, and by the second inning, I felt back to normal. So, the emotions were high."
De Vries has been a pleasant surprise with a 3.81 ERA this season, including a 3.63 ERA as a starter. The next two months will be important for him, as he knows it's his chance to audition for a spot in the rotation next season.
"They tell us coming up in the Minor Leagues that every outing you're not only auditioning for your own big league roster, but for everyone else," De Vries said. "So that's kind of how I take it. I would love to be a Minnesota Twin for the rest of my career, but it's also an audition for every other team.
"You never know when trades are going to happen or anything. So I would like to be here and be a part of the team next year and for the years to come, but you also have to look out for yourself."