KANSAS CITY -- First baseman Joe Mauer turns 31 on Saturday. If history is any indication, he'll stroke one base hit to celebrate.
Mauer has played on his birthday -- April 19 -- on five previous occasions, and he has tallied exactly one hit each time, never more, never less.
He broke into the major leagues in 2004, but the Twins did not play on April 19. The next season started a string of four straight seasons in which the Twins played on that day and Mauer collected a hit.
He was 1-for-4 in 2005, 1-for-2 in 2006 and 2007, and 1-for-4 again in 2008. He was out of the lineup in 2009 and the Twins did not play on that day in 2010. The Twins were in action on April 19, 2011, but Mauer was not in the lineup. He was 1-for-5 in 2012 and the Twins were rained out on that date in 2013.
Mauer is a career .322 hitter, but on his birthday, he's hitting just .294.
STREAK: Lost one
NEXT: Twins (RHP Kevin Correia, 0-1, 5.30 ERA) at Royals (LHP Bruce Chen, 0-1, 6.30 ERA)
--OF Chris Colabello is on pace to break the Twins record for RBIs in April. Colabello has 19 through 16 games. The record is held by Kirby Puckett, who drove in 26 runs in 1994. He went 1-for-4 with no RBIs on Friday against the Royals.
--RHP Ricky Nolasco (5.2 IP, 11 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 3 K) allowed 11 hits or more in a game for the sixth time in his career. Nolasco, who came into the season with an 89-75 record (all in the National League), fell to 1-2 in his first season with the Twins and in the American League.
--DH Josmil Pinto (2-for-4) picked up his first multi-hit game of the season. His two-out single in the fourth was critical for the Twins because of the way it ended. With the Twins down 2-0, Pinto hit a double to the wall in left-center field. LF Alex Gordon threw out Pinto trying to stretch it into a double. "That's a double in the gap," Gordon said of Pinto challenging him. "You've got to go every time on that. I just made a good throw."
--OF Jason Kubel, who was second on the Twins in hitting coming into the game (.350), was given the night off from the starting lineup. He pinch hit for SS Pedro Florimon with two on and two outs in the seventh inning. He flew out to left field to end the inning.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Not a ball hit hard off him for the most part. They found some holes, and the big two-run homer by (3B Mike ) Moustakas hurt him there at the end. But he gave us a chance; we just couldn't come up with anything on (Royals LHP Jason) Vargas." -- Manager Ron Gardenhire, of RHP Ricky Nolasco, who allowed 11 hits or more in a game for the sixth time in his career Friday.
--UT Jason Bartlett (sprained left ankle) went on the 15-day disabled list April 7. He ran the bases April 11 and played in an extended spring training game April 15 in Fort Myers, Fla. He began a rehabilitation assignment with Class A Fort Myers April 17.
--OF Josh Willingham (left wrist contusion) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 7.
--OF Oswaldo Arcia (sore right wrist) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 5. He took batting practice prior to the game April 9 but reported little progress in his recovery. He was about the same as of April 13. He received a cortisone shot April 15.
RHP Ricky Nolasco
RHP Kevin Correia
RHP Phil Hughes
RHP Mike Pelfrey
RHP Kyle Gibson
LHP Glen Perkins (closer)
LHP Caleb Thielbar
RHP Anthony Swarzak
LHP Brian Duensing
RHP Casey Fien
RHP Jared Burton
RHP Sam Deduno
RHP Michael Tonkin
1B Joe Mauer
2B Brian Dozier
SS Pedro Florimon
3B Trevor Plouffe
INF/OF Chris Colabello
INF/OF Eduardo Escobar
LF Jason Kubel
CF Aaron Hicks
RF Chris Herrmann
OF Darin Mastroianni
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