MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins found themselves two position players short for Saturday's doubleheader, as manager Ron Gardenhire said Joe Mauer and shortstop J.J. Hardy would be unavailable.

Gardenhire said Hardy's strained left wrist remains too painful for him to play.

"[Hardy's] still sore," Gardenhire said. "We are not ready to put him on the field. We just have to give him another day or two. Hopefully, we can get to the off-day and see where we are at against the White Sox."

Minnesota opens a series with Chicago Tuesday.

Hardy injured his wrist when he slid into third base after his ninth-inning triple in Minnesota's victory over Detroit on Tuesday.

Minnesota reliever Jose Mijares pitched one inning for Triple-A Rochester on Friday, giving up four hits and three runs in the Red Wings' 16-3 loss to Louisville. Despite his performance, Gardenhire remained optimistic Mijares could join the Twins' relief corps soon.

"[Mijares] didn't throw great," Gardenhire said. "He gave up a home run, but the ball was coming out of his hand, they said, great. We will get him back out there Sunday, and see how he is."

Gardenhire said there was a chance Mijares could join the Twins as early as Tuesday against Chicago.

Mijares suffered a strained elbow when Minnesota placed him on the 15-day disabled list on April 17.

Mauer pinch-hits in first AB in eight days

MINNEAPOLIS -- Joe Mauer pinch-hit in the eighth inning of the Twins' 6-1 victory in the nightcap of Saturday's doubleheader. The injured catcher struck out swinging with the bases loaded.

"Joe said he had a hole in his bat," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "That's the first time I've ever heard him say that, so he's human."

It marked Mauer's first plate appearance in more than a week since he suffered a soft deep-tissue bruise on his left heel after trying to beat out a grounder in a victory over the Indians on April 30. Gardenhire said there was a good chance that Mauer would be in the lineup as Minnesota's designated hitter for the series finale on Sunday.

"[Mauer's] doing a lot better," Gardenhire said before Saturday's game. "He's been running around, and he ran on the track. We'll see how he feels before making a decision."

Gardenhire said Mauer was also expected to do some squatting and catching drills on Saturday to test the injury.

Saturday's twin bill marked the seventh and eighth games in a row that Mauer did not start, with Twins rookie Wilson Ramos taking his place for six of those games. Drew Butera started the other two.

Ramos is batting .348 with eight hits in those six games.

With an off-day on Monday, the Twins may wait to put Mauer back behind the plate until the opener of their two-game series against the White Sox on Tuesday.

"The off-day is huge," Gardenhire said. "I know Joe's getting a little anxious to get out there, but we'll just have to see."

Ramos still learning catchers' trade

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins catcher Wilson Ramos has shown signs of a bright future, but he still has a ways to go learning how to call a ballgame from behind the plate.

At the start of his Major League career, Ramos was tearing the cover off the ball -- he collected seven hits in his first two games with Minnesota. Since then, however, he has cooled off at the plate, and is hitting .348 after going 0-for-3 in the opener of a twin bill with the Orioles on Saturday.

Even though Ramos has just one hit in his past 14 at-bats, the Twins are not concerned about his offense. His defense, on the other hand, could use some work.

"He's learning," said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. "He's got issues calling a ballgame. We are talking with him constantly. It's just little things you have to learn. He's 22 years old, he's still got to learn."

One problem Ramos needs to improve upon is doing a better job giving multiple signs to the pitcher when runners are on base, something Ramos was unable to do properly in the first game when three Baltimore players tallied stolen bases.

"Today, with a man on, he was giving single signs instead of multiple signs," Gardenhire said. "We never give single signs when there is a man on base. We had to tell him he has to give multiple signs. You saw them steal second base twice on breaking balls. They are sitting there looking when you give one sign, they can see it."

Players spend respite in different ways

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins participated in Target Field's first doubleheader Saturday against the Orioles. With nearly four hours between the split day and night games, the players found ways to spend their break.

Catcher Joe Mauer, who is anxious to get back on the field and play after missing time with a sore left heel, spent the respite working on catching drills and testing his heel in hopes of seeing action either in the series finale on Sunday or against the White Sox on Tuesday.

Right fielder Michael Cuddyer relaxed in the clubhouse, taking time to eat a meal. Designated hitter Jason Kubel took a nap during the four-hour break.

Pitcher Francisco Liriano, who took the loss in the Minnesota's 7-3 Game 1 defeat, joked that he would go home if he thought it was allowed.

While the players chose to spend the downtime in different ways, they all agreed the break was needed.

"It's a little bit of sitting around, but the fortunate part of this whole thing is that we get another shot," said manager Ron Gardenhire.

With the Twins entering Game 2 without a win during the Orioles' visit, Cuddyer said the break could be used to regroup and regain energy for the rest of the series.

"It's just two games, so it's nothing to get too worried about," Cuddyer said. "We have to have a short memory because we're going to lose some games. This will give us a chance to minimize that."

Twins playing first twin bill of 2010

MINNEAPOLIS -- Saturday promised to be a busy day at Target Field as the Twins played their first doubleheader of the season against the Baltimore Orioles.

The Target Field grounds crew was sure to work overtime to make sure the field was in good condition after the heavy usage on Saturday. Twins Manager Ron Gardenhire said the start time of 7:10 p.m. for Saturday's second game likely gave the Target Field grounds crew enough time in between games to get the field ready.

"Because this is the first time [there's been a doubleheader], it's important to give the people an extra hour to make sure they get everything right in between games," Gardenhire said. "It will give them enough time to get everything ready. It could've been a 6 p.m. game."

The doubleheader created a long day at the ball park for the players and coaching staff, but Gardenhire said there should be enough time to rest prior to Saturday's nightcap.

"There will be a little bit of sitting around, but there are all kinds of stuff to do, as far as watching ball games or whatever," Gardenhire said. "They will relax a little bit, have a dinner in between games and start preparing for the second one, just like another night game."

The last time Minnesota played a doubleheader was Sept. 29, 2009, at Detroit, with the division chase at full steam. The teams settled for a split.

Worth noting

MINNEAPOLIS -- Opposing pitchers have been hesitant to throw strikes to the Twins this season.

Entering Saturday's doubleheader with Baltimore, the Twins led the Major Leagues in walks with 135, five more than the Atlanta Braves.

Leading the way is Justin Morneau, who leads the Majors with 26 walks. When Morneau does swing the bat, he is also pretty good: He's hitting .357 this season and has collected 35 hits. His .492 on-base percentage is also the best in baseball.

The Twins are averaging 4.7 walks per game. When Minnesota has 5 walks or more, the team is 14-2 this season.