DETROIT -- With Twins starters not going deep into games, the club's relievers have been called on to eat innings but have stayed effective.
The Twins haven't had a starter go more than five innings since Vance Worley went six on Friday against the Red Sox. But Worley only went 3 2/3 innings on Wednesday and was optioned to Triple-A Rochester after his start.
So manager Ron Gardenhire has been going to his bullpen much earlier than he's wanted, which caused the Twins to call up an eighth reliever in Caleb Thielbar before Monday's game in Atlanta.
"We've been using a lot of them," Gardenhire said. "We're just going based on how they're feeling but we're not trying to kill any of them. We'd like to go every other day with some of these guys. But it would be nice to get a deep start and use the right guys at the end."
With the starting rotation struggling, Minnesota relievers have combined to throw 160 2/3 innings entering Thursday, which ranks as the third-highest total in the American League, but they've still been able to post a 3.08 ERA that ranks third in the AL.
"They've had to a pitch a lot but they've pitched well," Gardenhire said. "But they're just pitching a lot."
Mastroianni to be out six weeks after ankle surgery
DETROIT -- Outfielder Darin Mastroianni underwent successful surgery on his left ankle on Wednesday and is expected to be out six weeks.
Mastroianni, who was moved to the 60-day disabled list on Wednesday, had a bone chip in his ankle repaired by team physician Dr. John Steubs in Minnesota. He initially sustained the injury when he fouled a ball of his ankle in Spring Training and aggravated the injury while running early in the season.
"They were thrilled with the outcome," Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony said. "What they did was exactly what they wanted to accomplish. They were very comfortable that they went the right way with the decision to repair it instead of remove it."
As Antony pointed out, if they removed the bone chip, which was near one of his tendons, Mastroianni would be facing a much longer recovery time. But the hope is to have Mastroianni back on the field after the All-Star break in July.
"He's going to be in a cast for a week and then he'll be reexamined and have [the cast] removed next Wednesday," Antony said. "And then he'll go into a walking boot, which they anticipate he'll be in for a couple weeks. And then once it's off, they're hoping he'll be able to move around with some weight bearing and work his way back to baseball activities."
Florimon exits with sprained right index finger
DETROIT -- Shortstop Pedro Florimon left Thursday's 7-6 loss to the Tigers with a sprained right index finger, and he's listed as day to day.
"It's a sprained finger and he's day to day," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He went to try to throw and couldn't throw tonight. But I think he'll able to put pressure on it tomorrow, and hopefully we'll be able to use him in an emergency."
Florimon, who singled to lead off the third inning, injured his finger while sliding into third base while advancing on a single from Jamey Carroll.
Florimon scored on an RBI single from Joe Mauer but was examined by head trainer Dave Pruemer upon coming back to the dugout.
He was then replaced by Eduardo Escobar at shortstop in the bottom of the third inning. It left the Twins' bench thin, as fellow infielder Trevor Plouffe is on the 7-day DL with concussion-like symptoms.
Arcia out of the lineup for fourth straight game
DETROIT -- Rookie outfielder Oswaldo Arcia was on the bench for a fourth straight game on Thursday, but Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he wants to get him back in the lineup on Friday against the Tigers.
Arcia didn't start any of the club's three games in Atlanta but did serve as a pinch-hitter in all three games, belting a pinch-hit homer in Wednesday's 8-3 loss.
Gardenhire said that with Justin Morneau starting at designated hitter, it forced Chris Parmelee to start at first base. He also wanted Ryan Doumit in right field because he's been heating up this month and has had success against right-hander Rick Porcello in the past.
"He's fine," Gardenhire said about Arcia. "We're just trying to mix it up here with Parmelee. Morneau is DHing today. He took a ball off his leg at home plate and is pretty sore. But he wants to play so it puts Parmelee in the infield, and Doumit is swinging pretty good so I wanted him in there."
Gardenhire said that the lack of a DH in Atlanta was the main reason why he didn't get Arcia in the lineup against the Braves. The Twins also faced left-hander Paul Maholm on Wednesday, which is why the left-handed-hitting Arcia was on the bench.
"I understand that a young guy like that shouldn't sit very long," Gardenhire said. "But we also just had National League baseball, which didn't bode well for us. But we need to play everybody and he's one of them. I want to get him in there."