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Fuentes Undergoes MRI, Thome Scratched From Lineup

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Twins reliever Brian Fuentes was hailed as a steal of an acquisition for general manager Bill Smith, but for all the plaudits, he's still only faced one batter as a Twin. Fuentes complained of his back "locking up" two days after retiring Seattle's Russell Branyan to finish the game against the Mariners on August 28; he hasn't pitched since, and Kelly Thieser of mlb.com reports that it's time for further examination:

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Fuentes threw a bullpen session on Tuesday at about 70 percent effort, manager Ron Gardenhire said, and when the lefty arrived in the clubhouse on Wednesday he was feeling pretty stiff.

"They want to get his back checked out," Gardenhire said. "We'll see where we're at, see what's going on.""

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Fuentes went on the DL with lower-back problems once already this season, and his continued absence has to be worrying for Twins fans.

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Meanwhile, slugger Jim Thome was scratched from Wednesday night's lineup with what Star Tribune beat writer Joe Christensen describes as a "mild abdominal strain":

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Thome scratched with mild abdominal strain. Taken out for precautionary reasons. He's day-to-day.

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We'll try not to worry too much about this one, but we've all seen those "precautionary" reasons become much more.

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Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.