MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Twins are missing two of their top hitters against Detroit ace Justin Verlander on Saturday.

Joe Mauer missed his third straight game because of a stiff neck and Michael Cuddyer was out with a sore left wrist.

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Two days after saying Mauer “had to be available to play” in a game against the Baltimore Orioles, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire defended his star catcher, who has come under criticism for missing so much time with injuries.

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Gardenhire said before the game that Mauer doesn’t get enough credit for all of the times he has played hurt and felt that was unfair.

Cuddyer was hit by a pitch on his left wrist on Wednesday night, but played on Thursday and Friday before needing a day off to rest it.

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