MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Minnesota Twins All-Star Joe Mauer is not in the lineup for the third straight night against Kansas City due to back spasms.
Drew Butera started at catcher for the second straight game Thursday night. Mauer's back tightened up before batting practice Tuesday.
Mauer, who appeared in just 82 games last season because of various ailments, had played in 131 of a possible 143 games entering Thursday, splitting his time among catcher, DH and first base. He is hitting .319 with nine homers and 76 RBIs.
Manager Ron Gardenhire says Mauer feels better, but isn't ready to return.