BOSTON -- Left-hander Francisco Liriano was sent back to the club's hotel after showing up Friday with flu-like symptoms and a sore throat.

Manager Ron Gardenhire expects Liriano, who is coming off Tuesday's no-hitter against the White Sox, to start Monday night at Fenway Park if he feels better by Saturday and can throw a light bullpen session.

"We plan on Frankie starting on Monday, but he came in today with the flu and got some medicine and went back to the hotel," Gardenhire said. "So it's a little more of a wrinkle in there. We told him he was starting on Monday, and he said he'll be fine."

Plouffe takes over everyday duties at shortstop

BOSTON -- The Twins threw recent callups Trevor Plouffe and Ben Revere right into the fire, as the two made their first starts of the season on Friday against the Red Sox.

In his first at-bat, Plouffe launched a solo homer into the Monster Seats.

Plouffe, recalled late Tuesday, started at shortstop and batted second. The 24-year-old is also expected to be the club's starting shortstop moving forward, with Alexi Casilla moving to second base. Luke Hughes and Matt Tolbert will continue their roles as backup utility infielders, while Michael Cuddyer is expected to remain in the outfield.

"He's going to go out there and play shortstop," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We look at him as my starting shortstop and we'll mix in the other guys around the infield."

Plouffe, who hit .146 with two home runs in 41 at-bats with the Twins last season in his first big league action, said he's excited about his opportunity to see regular playing time at shortstop.

"It's what you want," said Plouffe, who was hitting .282 with six homers with Triple-A Rochester this season. "It's what I know how to do. I know how to start and play shortstop. Coming off the bench is no easy task. I'm not saying I'm not willing to do that, but it's nice being able to start."

Revere, meanwhile, was hitting .293 with Rochester and was also recalled late Tuesday -- on his 23rd birthday. He said he was looking forward to playing in left field with the signature 36-foot, two-inch Green Monster at Fenway Park.

"I'm going to go out there and have fun and see how the ball reacts off that wall," Revere said. "You have that big ladder up on that wall, so if it hits that, you never know where it's going to go. And you have those signs and divots. So I'll just get my legs ready and start running. I wish I had Spiderman skills so I could climb up that wall, though."

Injured players making progress with rehab

BOSTON -- Twins trainer Dave Pruemer gave a slew of injury updates before Friday night's game against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.

Pruemer said catcher Joe Mauer is continuing his throwing and hitting program at Target Field, but there is still no timetable for his return.

Pruemer had good news about injured second baseman Tsuyoshi Nishioka, who has been out since April 7 with a fractured left fibular. Nishioka is still on track to return sometime this month and stepped up his rehab program at the club's Spring Training complex in Fort Myers, Fla.

"Nishioka is hitting on the field, talking ground balls in the infield and throwing across the field, so it's an improvement for him," Pruemer said. "Everything is going well for him."

Designated hitter Jim Thome, on the 15-day disabled list with a left oblique strain, flew back to Minneapolis and is expected to have an MRI exam this weekend. Left fielder Delmon Young, who is also on the 15-day DL with a left oblique strain, is continuing to hit in the cages and is almost ready for a rehab assignment.

Slowey to be activated off DL on Saturday

BOSTON -- Right-hander Kevin Slowey was at the ballpark before Friday's 9-2 win over the Red Sox and will be activated from the disabled list prior to Saturday's game.

To make room for Slowey, left-hander Dusty Hughes, who posted a 10.13 ERA in 10 2/3 innings, was optioned to Triple-A Rochester.

Slowey, on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder bursitis, is expected to return as a long reliever after getting stretched out to 65 pitches in his rehab start with Class A Fort Myers on Monday.

"We'll use him as best as we possibly can from long relief to a couple of innings," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We'll make sure to let him get good and properly loose. I think we learned this from the last time, and he's learned he can't just throw a couple balls and be ready."

Rivera excited to be back in big leagues

BOSTON -- Catcher Rene Rivera was certainly happy about having his contract selected from Triple-A Rochester on Thursday, as it marked the first time since 2006 that he was called up to the big leagues.

"I feel like it's my first time in the big leagues. I'm so excited," said Rivera, who appeared in 53 games with the Mariners from 2004-06. "I called everybody at home [in Puerto Rico] to tell them."

Rivera, who is now on the club's 40-man roster, was recalled after catcher Steve Holm was optioned to Triple-A Rochester on Wednesday. Manager Ron Gardenhire said Rivera was recalled to bring some offense to the position, as Holm was hitting just .118, and starting catcher Drew Butera was hitting just .111 entering Friday's game.

"It's just a change," Gardenhire said. "Holm hadn't been swinging great. Drew has not been swinging great. They told me Rivera was hitting balls right on the button. Terry Ryan had been watching him the last few days. He can run into a ball, and we need somebody who can run into the ball."

Johnson named Twins' honorary bat girl

BOSTON -- Carrie Johnson of Stillwater, Minn., was selected the Twins' winner of the 2011 Honorary Bat Girl Contest, a campaign to recognize baseball fans who have been affected by breast cancer and demonstrated a commitment to fighting the disease.

With the Twins away from home at Fenway Park on Mother's Day on Sunday, Johnson will be honored at a yet to be announced home game at Target Field in May.

Johnson is one of 30 winners, one for each MLB club. She was among more than 1,500 entrants that were selected by more than a half-million fan votes on, a website powered by, and a panel of celebrity judges. On Mother's Day, hundreds of MLB players are expected to use pink bats by Louisville Slugger, the official bat of Major League Baseball, stamped with the MLB breast cancer awareness logo.

The Honorary Bat Girl Contest was introduced in 2009 to raise additional awareness and support for the annual Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer initiative celebrated on Mother's Day. In three years, nearly 4,000 testimonials have been submitted and more than six million fan votes have been cast.