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Joe Mauer Injury: Back Spasms Keep Him On Bench

Joe Mauer was scratched from Tuesday night's game with the Royals due to back spasms.

Apr 12, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA: Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer (7) hits an infield single in the sixth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Target Field. The Twins won 10-9. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE
Apr 12, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA: Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer (7) hits an infield single in the sixth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Target Field. The Twins won 10-9. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE

The Minnesota Twins' Joe Mauer was removed from the lineup by manager Ron Gardenhire Tuesday night, after the star experienced back spasms in pregame warmups before the Twins took batting practice. Ryan Doumit started at catcher in place of Mauer in the first game of a three-game set against Kansas City; the Twins hope to leave the AL Central basement behind with a win and a Cleveland loss.

Mauer, 29, has played in 131 games this year, with 66 games started at catcher and the rest played at first base or as a designated hitter. As an individual player, Mauer's 2012 has been heartening for Twins fans after his injury-plagued 2011; the Minnesota native leads the American League in on-base percentage with a .414 mark.

For more on the Minnesota Twins, check out Twinkie Town and keep following SBNation Minnesota's MLB hub. More news and analysis on the baseball world can be found over at Baseball Nation.

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