BALTIMORE -- Wilkin Ramirez made his first start with the Twins in right field against the Orioles on Sunday, leaving Darin Mastroianni as the only position player yet to start a game for Minnesota this season.
Ramirez, who made the club as an extra outfielder and pinch-hitter after a strong showing in Spring Training, went 1-for-3 and scored the winning run. He last started in a big league game on July 11, 2011 with the Braves, and has appeared in two games earlier this season as a pinch-hitter, going 1-for-2 with an RBI double. He hit seventh in the lineup on Sunday.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he thought it was a good time to get Ramirez in a game, as Orioles right-hander Jason Hammel is actually tougher on lefties, so left-handed hitter Chris Parmelee -- who homered in Saturday's win -- was benched in favor of Ramirez.
"Righties have some success here against him so it's a good opportunity to get him in there," Gardenhire said. "Parm had a good night there last night and now he can sit back. Wilkin needs some at-bats, and not just pinch-hitting."
Mastroianni, meanwhile, is still nursing a bruised left ankle and isn't ready to play nine innings. But Gardenhire is hoping Mastroianni can start a game in Kansas City this week or next weekend against the Mets.
"He's going to have to go out there and play soon," Gardenhire said. "I've tried to bide my time using him in certain spots but it's about time. They told me a couple days."
Twins alter pitching staff with roster moves
BALTIMORE -- The Twins made a couple roster moves before Sunday's game, as they recalled left-hander Pedro Hernandez from Triple-A Rochester to start against the Orioles and activated right-hander Anthony Swarzak from the 15-day disabled list.
Both had an impact in the 4-3 win over the Orioles. Hernandez allowed three runs in five innings with three strikeouts, and Swarzak earned the win with 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief.
To make room for the two pitchers on the roster, right-hander Cole De Vries was placed on the 15-day DL retroactive to March 30 with a strained right forearm, and left-hander Tyler Robertson was optioned to Triple-A Rochester after Saturday's game.
Swarzak, who was placed on the DL on March 22 with two left rib fractures stemming from a horseplay incident in late January, is expected to be used as the club's long reliever. He also had his wisdom teeth removed on Wednesday but said he's fully recovered.
"It feels very good," Swarzak said. "There were a few weeks there in Spring Training where I wasn't sure how much time I'd miss and it was scary. But now that it was only five games and I'm back I feel ready to go."
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he was happy to have Swarzak with the team, as the right-hander can eat up innings as a long reliever, considering he went four innings in his last Minor League outing on Tuesday.
"It's huge," Gardenhire said. "It turned out good last night because Josh [Roenicke] picked us up, but we were sitting there talking while [Vance] Worley was battling out there that we wished we had Swarzy. So this is huge having him back. He can do a lot of things for us."
Diamond expected back in rotation Friday
BALTIMORE -- Left-hander Scott Diamond made his final rehab start on Sunday with Class A Advanced Fort Myers, and is expected to rejoin the Twins' rotation on Friday against the Mets.
Diamond, who began the season on the 15-day disabled list after having a bone chip removed from his elbow in December, gave up four runs on six hits over five innings against Class A Bradenton. He threw 82 pitches, 54 for strikes.
Twins general manager Terry Ryan said Diamond didn't have any health issues in the start.
Diamond, 26, was Minnesota's best pitcher last year, as he posted a 3.54 ERA in a team-high 173 innings as a rookie.