- Associated Press - Thursday, July 7, 2011

CHICAGO (AP) - Joe Mauer made his major league debut at first base in the Minnesota Twins game against the Chicago White Sox on Thursday night.

Before he even got to play the field, Mauer hit an RBI single in the top of the first inning.

The star catcher was put in the lineup by manager Ron Gardenhire in part because Drew Butera usually catches Carl Pavano, who started for the Twins.

Minnesota also wants to get Mauer’s productive bat in the lineup as often as possible. The three-time batting champion , was limited to 27 games this season after landing on the 60-day disabled list due to bilateral leg weakness.

Mauer had appeared 847 big-league games entering Thursday’s contest against the White Sox, all as a catcher, designated hitter or pinch hitter.


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