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Twins activate Mauer after 25-game absence

Minnesota Twins first baseman Joe Mauer felds a ground ball May 15 at Target Field. Brad Rempel / USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Twins activated first baseman Joe Mauer from the disabled list prior to Friday's game against the Cleveland Indians.

Mauer had been sidelined four weeks due to a concussion and a cervical strain in his neck. He has missed Minnesota's past 25 games.

The Twins also recalled infielder Taylor Motter from Triple-A Rochester. The team had two openings after demoting 2017 All-Star Miguel Sano to Class-A Fort Myers and outfielder Jake Cave to Rochester.

Mauer is batting .283 in 38 games but has just one homer and 11 RBIs. He was injured in a game against the Milwaukee Brewers on May 18 while diving for a foul pop up and experienced balance issues before moving forward in his recovery.

Mauer went 0-for-10 in a rehab stint with Rochester earlier this week, but the Twins feel he is ready to return.

Manager Paul Molitor is eager to see the three-time batting champion back in the lineup.

"Joe is extremely patient, extremely prepared, one of those guys who is not afraid to hit with two strikes. And he shouldn't be because he's really good in those situations," Molitor told reporters. "He's just one of those professional hitters who seem to take good at-bats each and every night, whether it's getting hits or driving in runs or getting on base or taking walks.

"It's part of what makes a team effective, when you get guys who can slow the game down when they get in the box."

Motter was claimed off waivers from the Seattle Mariners in late May and was just 7-for-42 with one homer with Rochester. He has a .198 career average with 10 homers in 132 major league games over three seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays and Mariners.

The Twins optioned the slumping Sano after Thursday's loss to the Detroit Tigers. He is batting just .203 with seven homers and 27 RBIs this season. He has struck out 66 times in 148 at-bats.