MILWAUKEE -- After missing nearly a week with a sore back, Christian Yelich was back in the Brewers' starting lineup for Wednesday's 3-2 win over the Twins at Miller Park.
Yelich has been everything the Brewers had hoped for when they sent a package including top prospect Lewis Brinson to the Marlins in January in order to acquire the former Gold Glove Award winner and Silver Slugger Award winner.
Yelich finished 1-for-4 and is batting .288 with 11 home runs, 34 RBIs and 10 stolen bases this season, and he is second on the team (among qualifiers) with a .362 on-base percentage.
"Christian's biggest strength is that he's a solid, all-around baseball player," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "He adds in every area of the game. Those guys [like Yelich], you don't know how they're going to help you that day, and I think he helps us in a lot of different areas.
"The first thing you think of, though, is he's a good hitter. He's a solid, consistent presence for us. You miss that."
Counsell said that he thought Yelich "got over the hump" in his rehab process on Monday. The outfielder got his first taste of action Tuesday afternoon, taking over in left field for the ninth inning of the Brewers' 2-0 victory over Minnesota.
"I've been trying to get back in there," Yelich said. "I feel ready to go, and we felt like today was a good day to give it a try."
While Yelich is back, the Brewers will still be without center fielder Lorenzo Cain, who's been out since June 24 with a strained left groin.
Cain was eligible to come off the disabled list Wednesday, but instead, he went through another full workout on the field.
"We're close, we're just not there yet [with Cain]," Counsell said. "We have to get over that last hurdle where there's no sign of it for him, and we're just not there yet.
"The fact that he's on the field, that he's running the bases ... I think that's a pretty good sign that he's doing well. We just have to take one more step, but there's no timeframe in that."
Ryan Braun has also missed games with a bad back recently, and he was not in the starting lineup Wednesday. He pinch-hit for Jeremy Jeffress in the bottom of the eighth, and he played left field for the top of the ninth, shifting Yelich over to right.
Sore thumb for top prospect
Keston Hiura, the Brewers' No. 1 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, was out of Double-A Biloxi's lineup again Wednesday as he deals with a mild strain of his left thumb.
The injury happened last Friday, when Hiura was running to first base and bumped his thumb into the first baseman's glove. He remained in the game, but the thumb got sore as the game went on, and he has been out since.
Hiura is expected to miss a few more games, but he doesn't appear headed to the disabled list, Brewers farm director Tom Flanagan said in an email to MLB.com.
Milwaukee's first-round selection (No. 9 overall) in the 2017 MLB Draft, Hiura earned a promotion to Double-A Biloxi on June 1 after batting .320 with 16 doubles, seven home runs and 23 RBIs in 50 games for Class A Advanced Carolina.
In 24 games with Biloxi, Hiura is batting .326 (30-for-92) with 11 doubles and an .891 OPS.