SEATTLE (AP) -Torii Hunter remained out of the Minnesota Twins' starting lineup Thursday against Seattle for the second consecutive game because of a bruised shoulder. The star center fielder, off to a hot start, hoped to return either Friday or Saturday at Kansas City.
``A little sore,'' Hunter said, smiling as usual before the series finale. ``It's not so much pain as soreness. But it hasn't even been 48 hours, so that's OK.''
Hunter injured his left shoulder Tuesday night while trying to make a tumbling catch of a sinking line drive by Jose Vidro in the sixth inning of the Twins' win over the Mariners. He has been taking light batting practice for the last two days but said he still cannot extend his left arm fully while swinging a bat. He has no pain on short swings, he said.
Jason Tyner, who spent the majority of 2005 and '06 with Triple-A Rochester, started again for Hunter on Thursday. Tyner, 4-for-8 through the first two games of the series, moved from left field to replace Hunter in the seventh inning Tuesday.
Hunter is playing the final season of a contract that is paying him $12 million this year. He is sitting on a six-game hitting streak after a double and a grand slam Tuesday. His nine doubles led the major leagues entering Thursday.
So how long is too long being out, before one can lose his hot hitting stroke?
``Three to four days,'' Hunter said. ``When I come back, I'll be ready.''
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