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Max Kepler returns to lineup, plays through bruised lower back

Kepler took three rounds of early batting practice at Progressive Field, where he has six of his 18 career road homers.

He also did some running to prove to assistant athletic trainer Tony Leo and Twins manager Paul Molitor that he was ready to play again after sitting out Sunday’s game at Comerica Park, where Kepler has homered four times.

After struggling to a 22.50 earned run average with three homers allowed in a two-week, six-outing span on either side of the July 31 trade deadline, lefty Taylor Rogers has slowly been working back into form.

Molitor said he hadn’t heard any news Tuesday on injured third baseman Miguel Sano , out for the past 38 days with a stress reaction in his left tibia.

The 1986 Twins ( Gary Gaetti, Kirby Puckett, Kent Hrbek, Tom Brunansky and Roy Smalley ) and 1964 Twins ( Harmon Killebrew, Bob Allison, Tony Oliva, Jimmie Hall, Don Mincher and Zoilo Versalles ) also spread the power around.

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Max Kepler returns to lineup, plays through bruised lower back


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