CLEVELAND -- After driving in a career-high six runs in Thursday's 10-9 win over the White Sox, Chris Colabello got the start at designated hitter over Jason Kubel on Friday, even with right-hander Danny Salazar starting for the Indians.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he won't be using a strict platoon with Colabello and Kubel at DH this season, as he'll go with the hot hand. And after Colabello's impressive performance on Wednesday, which included a three-run double and a two-run double, he got the nod over the left-handed-hitting Kubel.
"He had a big day yesterday, so righty-lefty, it doesn't matter to me," Gardenhire said. "If a guy is swinging good, I'm going to put him out there."
Gardenhire said he's noticed a difference in Colabello's mechanics dating back to Spring Training, as he's worked to shorten his long swing that saw him hit .194 with seven homers and 17 RBIs in 55 games as a rookie last year.
Colabello, who was the International League MVP while playing at Triple-A Rochester last season, fared much better in spring, hitting .349 with a homer and eight RBIs in 23 games. He's off to a strong start this year, going 5-for-10 with six RBIs and three doubles through his first three games entering Friday.
"He's a swinger, we know that," Gardenhire said. "He knows he had to work on a few things from last year, and work on some of the kinks that allow him to get to the ball more consistently. He's shortened some things up and cut down on some of the movement with his hands. Ultimately, the guy can hit. He's fun to watch."
Colabello continued his hot streak at the plate with a solo homer in the first inning Friday, giving the Twins a 2-0 lead.
Plouffe trying to build on positive start to season
CLEVELAND -- Trevor Plouffe is off to a hot start offensively this season but said he's trying not to read too much into it.
Plouffe entered Friday's game against the Indians hitting .462 with a double, two walks and six RBIs in three games. He also had a big hit in Thursday's 10-9 win over the White Sox, as he drove home the tying run on a 3-2 fastball with two outs in the ninth inning.
"I feel good for now," Plouffe said. "But I'm going to take it day by day. You can't put too much stock into one day. But I think our team is hitting well, and we're doing better with runners in scoring position."
Plouffe also acknowledged he has to continue to get better defensively, as his throw home in the ninth inning of Minnesota's eventual 7-6 loss in 11 innings on Wednesday sailed wide, allowing the tying run to score.
"You have to make those plays," Plouffe said. "You're in the big leagues, so you have to make those plays."
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he's been pleased with the progress Plouffe has been making offensively, and wants to see more from him after he hit .254 with 14 homers and 52 RBIs in 129 games last season.
"He's been there and done it," Gardenhire said "Trev has played a lot of baseball now. He understands the game. You can't get too high or too low. So he's just plugging away. You're gonna have some good days and some bad days. So you just have to keep plugging away, and I think that's where he's at in his career."
Plouffe went 1-for-4 in Friday's 7-2 loss.
Draft, international monies allotted for Twins
CLEVELAND -- The Twins will have the fifth-most money to spend during the international signing period beginning July 2, with a bonus pool of $3,686,600, by virtue of finishing with the fifth-worst record in the Majors last season.
The Twins also have the 10th-most money to spend on the First-Year Player Draft, with $7,525,600 to use on 10 picks.
The Twins have the fifth pick in the Draft but don't have any supplemental picks. The fifth pick is valued at $3,575,900, while their next selection, the No. 46 overall pick, is valued at $1,218,800.
The Draft pool covers the first 10 rounds and any signings of more than $100,000 after the first 10 rounds. Teams are penalized for going over their assigned Draft bonus pools.
The international bonus pool covers signings from July 2 until June 15, 2015. Players from countries such as Japan or Cuba, who have played at least five professional seasons, don't count toward the bonus pool, nor do international players signed for less than $10,000.
Trees return to Target Field
CLEVELAND -- Fans who attend games at Target Field this season will see that trees have returned to center field, but not in the same spot that caused issues during its inaugural season in 2010.
The first season at Target Field featured Black Spruce trees that were in the batter's eye, and were removed after hitters complained about them swaying and affecting their sight line.
This year, the Twins added Spartan Junipers higher up in center field, just below the Minnie and Paul sign.
The Twins said in a statement that the Spartan Junipers were added for decoration, and provided by a company in Victoria, Minn.
The Twins host their first game at Target Field on Monday at 3:10 p.m. CT against the A's, and are set to host the All-Star Game on July 15.