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Garver cleared to play after blow to head

Catcher was struck in head by swing during Sunday's game
MLB.com @RhettBollinger

PITTSBURGH -- Twins catcher Mitch Garver, who was struck on the left side of the head by Orioles third baseman Manny Machado's bat on a swing on Sunday, has avoided a concussion and has been cleared to play.

Garver, catching in his first game of the season on Sunday, was hit by Machado's swing on a strikeout in the fourth inning. It hit Garver in an unusual spot, as catchers are generally hit in the helmet or mask by a swing, but it got under the helmet to hit Garver in the head. Luckily, for Garver, however, he didn't sustain a cut and avoided a serious injury.

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PITTSBURGH -- Twins catcher Mitch Garver, who was struck on the left side of the head by Orioles third baseman Manny Machado's bat on a swing on Sunday, has avoided a concussion and has been cleared to play.

Garver, catching in his first game of the season on Sunday, was hit by Machado's swing on a strikeout in the fourth inning. It hit Garver in an unusual spot, as catchers are generally hit in the helmet or mask by a swing, but it got under the helmet to hit Garver in the head. Luckily, for Garver, however, he didn't sustain a cut and avoided a serious injury.

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"Initially, I went down and I took off my skull cap to make sure I wasn't cut or bleeding or anything," Garver said. "[Trainer] Tony [Leo] told me I wasn't bleeding but that my head was a little red. So I took a moment to gather myself and figured I'd be fine to catch the rest of the game. It wasn't something that was going to stop me from catching."

Garver said there was some swelling after the game and explained that it was more like a bruise to the head than anything.

"My brain does not hurt, but my skull does, however," Garver said. "It's what you'd call a bone bruise, I guess."

Garver, though, said before Monday's game against the Pirates that he felt better a day after the incident and is ready to catch whenever the Twins need him. Regular catcher Jason Castro was in the lineup against Pittsburgh and Garver might not be in the lineup again until Saturday because of off-days.

"I'm feeling good," Garver said. "It's sore to the touch. But it's better."

Twins tidbits
• With the designated hitter rule in effect at PNC Park, DH Logan Morrison wasn't in the starting lineup on Monday. But Morrison is expected to start on Wednesday to give Joe Mauer a day off, according to Twins manager Paul Molitor.

• The Twins will be playing in cold weather this week, as it snowed in Pittsburgh as the team arrived on Sunday, with the temperature in the 40s for the Pirates' home opener on Monday. It doesn't get any warmer for a night game on Wednesday, with temperatures expected to dip into the 30s and 40s before the club heads home to Minnesota where it has been snowing this week. The Twins' home opener is on Thursday, where the high is expected to be 35 degrees with a low of 8 degrees.

"It has an effect," Molitor said. "It's one of those uncontrollable things both teams have to play with, but there's a mental toughness component to it. And that means dealing with any adversity that comes your way, including playing a very difficult game when the weather is frigid."

• The Twins announced their preliminary roster for Triple-A Rochester, which includes top pitching prospect Fernando Romero, but doesn't include fellow top prospects, left-hander Stephen Gonsalves and shortstop Nick Gordon, who will both open at Double-A Chattanooga. Other notable players at Triple-A include starters Adalberto Mejia, Aaron Slegers and Dietrich Enns, relievers Alan Busenitz, John Curtiss, Tyler Duffey, Jake Reed and outfielder Zack Granite.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.

Minnesota Twins, Mitch Garver