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Hendriks part of rotation

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Hendriks part of rotation
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FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) -- Liam Hendriks is excited to be in the Minnesota Twins' rotation, and he's going to do everything he can to stay there.

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Hendriks gave up four runs and nine hits in 5 1-3 innings of the Twins' 6-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday.

After a strong spring training, he was added to the rotation because Scott Baker was sidelined with elbow tendinitis and Jason Marquis took off two weeks to be with his daughter, who was injured in a bicycle accident.

Hendriks will start Sunday against Baltimore.

"I'm definitely feeling ready," Hendriks said. "I've had a good spring, and am looking to put that into the season and move forward."

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire and general manager Terry Ryan have both said they would hesitate to remove Hendriks from the rotation if he makes the most of his opportunity.

"That'd be really good," Gardenhire said. "That makes a tough decision on what we have to do after that. We hope he does really, really well. We hope we have to make a very tough decision on what to do with him right away."

After accumulating an 0-2 record and 6.17 ERA following a September callup last season, Hendriks came into this spring eager to show he could compete. He succeeded, finishing with a 2.84 ERA with 17 strikeouts and six walks through 25 1-3 innings.

"I still definitely felt like I had a lot to prove," Hendriks said. "I didn't have the best of Septembers, and I wanted to prove that I could pitch better at the major league level, and so far this spring training, I've felt I've done that."

Ben Revere, who has been fighting for a starting spot in the Twins' outfield with Trevor Plouffe and free agent addition Ryan Doumit, went 2 for 5 with a triple to raise his spring average to .313.

NOTES: Twins second baseman Alexi Casilla is expected to start Wednesday's spring training closer against Class-A Fort Myers after missing the last week with an inflamed bursa sac in his knee.

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Pioneer staff reports
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