MINNEAPOLIS -- Joe Mauer picked up a hit before Thursday's game against the Tigers even started, as a scoring change from Opening Day awarded him an infield single in his first-bat of the season on Monday.
The play was originally ruled an error on Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera but was reviewed and changed to a hit. With the change, Mauer's batting average improved from .250 to .375 (3-for-8).
Mauer also started behind the plate for a third straight game on Thursday, but is expected to get a day off from catching duties during a three-game set in Baltimore this weekend.
"He came in and I didn't even ask him -- he was catching these three games," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "And then we'll see in Baltimore. He wants to catch. He really does. But [Ryan] Doumit does too, so some day in Baltimore [Doumit] will catch."
Hicks notches first hit, Pressly first outing
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins' 8-2 win over the Tigers on Thursday featured a few firsts, as center fielder Aaron Hicks picked up his first career hit and reliever Ryan Pressly made his Major League debut and had his first strikeout.
Right-hander Mike Pelfrey, who had Tommy John surgery on May 1, also made his first start since April 21, 2012, and picked up his first victory since Aug. 24, 2011.
"There were a lot of good things going on," Pelfrey said. "Hicks got his first hit and Pressly had his first outing. So hopefully this will carry over."
Hicks' first hit came in the eighth inning on a two-run single to right field off Brayan Villareal that capped a five-run inning for the Twins. It snapped an 0-for-11 streak with seven strikeouts for Hicks to begin his career.
"It felt amazing," Hicks said. "It just seems like I was too anxious out there. I was swinging at stuff out of the zone. So it was a big situation to get that first hit and it takes the pressure off."
Pressly, meanwhile, tossed a scoreless ninth inning. A Rule 5 Draft pick from the Red Sox in December, Pressly gave up a leadoff single to Omar Infante but was able to retire Austin Jackson, Torii Hunter and Miguel Cabrera to close out the game.
Carroll makes first start in third game
MINNEAPOLIS -- After using the same lineup the first two games of the season, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire changed it up Thursday, as Jamey Carroll started at second base and hit eighth against the Tigers. He went 1-for-3 with a walk and a run.
Carroll, who is expected to see time at second base, shortstop and third base in a utility role this year, entered the game with success against Tigers starter Rick Porcello, with a career .359 batting average against the right-hander.
"I like Jamey Carroll, and he needs to play," Gardenhire said. "We don't need guys sitting. We've already had one day off. Most of the guys have gotten into a ballgame but he's only pinch-ran. So we need to get guys in a game."
But the rest of the lineup remained the same, as Joe Mauer hit second instead of his usual spot as the club's No. 3 hitter for the third straight game.
Hicks' number switch a natural progression
MINNEAPOLIS -- Top prospect Aaron Hicks, who wore No. 5 and No. 31 in the Minor Leagues, explained his rationale for choosing to wear No. 32 for the Twins.
Hicks, who had his first Major League hit in Thursday's win over Detroit, said he wore the No. 31 in the Minor Leagues to honor his father, Joe, who wore that number as a Minor Leaguer. Hicks added that his father wore No. 31 in honor of Hall of Famer Dave Winfield, who coincidentally wore No. 32 while with the Twins in 1993 and '94 after wearing No. 31 most of his career.
"I'm happy with it," Hicks said. "It's a combination of my dad liking it, and also it's the next number up. Him saying, 'Just be better than I was, actually making it to the big leagues,' there's just a lot that goes with it."
Hicks had the chance to switch to No. 31 after reliever Alex Burnett was sent to the Minors and eventually claimed by the Blue Jays in waivers. But Hicks said he likes his new number and will stick with it, especially considering it's the same number Winfield wore with the Twins.
"I kind of knew the history before Spring Training started," Hicks said. "This just fell into place, I would say."