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Mauer, Nolasco make rehab outings at Cedar Rapids

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins first baseman Joe Mauer and right-hander Ricky Nolasco both began their rehab assignments with Class A Cedar Rapids on Tuesday.

Mauer, who has been on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right oblique since July 3, went 1-for-3 as a designated hitter in his first rehab game. Mauer is expected to remain there through the weekend before rejoining the Twins next week for their three-game series against the Astros.

"He's been out a month so he's going to need four or five days," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I'm betting he's not going to play two and then fly to California. If I'm a betting man, I'm thinking Houston if everything goes well."

Nolasco, on the 15-day DL retroactive to July 7 with a right elbow strain, tossed 3 2/3 scoreless innings, scattering two hits and a walk while striking out two. He threw 51 pitches with 30 going for strikes. He's scheduled to make one more rehab start on Sunday before rejoining the rotation.

With both Mauer and Nolasco in Cedar Rapids, it led to a sold-out crowd Tuesday night at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium, which is roughly 280 miles from Minneapolis.

"That's a great ballpark, a great city for baseball," Gardenhire said. "We're getting our work in there, getting our guys and making sure they're OK. Plus, it's really good for that area and that community. They deserve it. They love baseball down there."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. Alex Smith is an associate reporter for
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