Slugger Thome returns for Twins; Mauer progressing wire reports

MINNEAPOLIS -- Jim Thome returned to the Minnesota Twins lineup on Monday night and was slotted to hit sixth against the Seattle Mariners.

Thome missed 19 games with a left oblique strain and was activated from the disabled list after Sunday's loss to Arizona.

The Twins also say All-Star catcher Joe Mauer could be be the designated hitter in an extended spring training game this week. He's been out since April 14 with leg weakness.

An MRI exam on Kevin Slowey's oblique did not reveal any damage, but the righty wasn't available Monday.

The experiment of using Slowey out of the bullpen may be finished. He told manager Ron Gardenhire over the weekend that he would like to start, which means he could be sent to Triple-A Rochester or traded.

Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

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