07/12/2003 3:15 PM ET
Notes: Back keeps Koskie out
ANAHEIM -- Third baseman Corey Koskie was unable to start against the Angels Saturday because of a strained lower back. Utility player Denny Hocking replaced him in the lineup.
Back problems have been a recurring nuisance for Koskie, who had similar pains in the closing days of Spring Training and missed Opening Day.
"I don't know what it is," said Koskie, who is batting .298 with 14 homers and 55 RBIs this season.
Koskie left Friday's game in the fourth inning to get treatment but said his back didn't spasm on him during one particular play. He was moving around the clubhouse slowly Saturday, but was in better shape than the previous night.
"He feels all right," Gardenhire said. "But not good enough to play."
It's also unlikely that Koskie will be able to play Sunday, giving him the chance to rest until play resumes after the All-Star break on Thursday.
"Normally with any type of back thing, it's three days no matter what the drugs are," Gardenhire said. "But, he's going to dictate that."
Lonely bench: Gardenhire served his one-game suspension Saturday, punishment for an automatic ejection July 3 when Kenny Rogers intentionally hit Cleveland's Milton Bradley with a pitch after warnings were issued.
Because of the injury to Koskie and others, Gardenhire left replacement skipper Scott Ullger with a pretty thin bench and limited moves to make.
"I had it last night. He can have it today," joked Gardenhire, who planned to watch the game somewhere in the ballpark with his wife.
With Lew Ford out of action with a bruised right forearm, outfielder Jacque Jones on the disabled list and 12 pitchers on the roster, Justin Morneau and Cristian Guzman were the only extra healthy position players available. Guzman was benched from starting for the weekend because of a disciplinary issue.
Draft pick signed: The Twins signed their fourth-round draft pick, pitcher David Shinskie. Of the 50 players selected in the 2003 First-Year Player Draft, Minnesota signed 25, including nine of the first 10.
Down on the farm: Michael Restovich hit a three-run homer and a double to help give Triple-A Rochester a 7-4 win Friday over Richmond.
Josh Rabe and Joe Mauer each had solo home runs in Double-A New Britain's 2-1 win against Erie. It was Mauer's first homer at Double-A. The 2001 overall No. 1 pick is batting .400 (12-for-30) over his last nine games and .337 with13 RBIs in 23 games since his promotion from Single-A.
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This report was not subject to the approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com