ANAHEIM -- Doug Bernier made his first big league start in more than five years on Monday against the Angels, starting at shortstop and batting second for the Twins.
He picked up his first Major League hit with an RBI double in the fourth inning against right-hander Joe Blanton.
Bernier, who was recalled from Triple-A Rochester on July 14, last started in the Majors on June 19, 2008, with the Rockies. He played two games that year, going 0-for-4 at the plate, and he's been in the Minors since then. He came in as a defensive substitution in the eighth inning of Sunday's game against the Indians and drew a walk, which marked the first time he reached base in the Majors.
"It's been a long time," Bernier said. "It's exciting. I figured I'd be in the lineup one time, but to see it, it's just exciting."
Bernier, who hails from Santa Maria, Calif., which is about three hours north of Anaheim, said he had family in town for Monday's game and is simply grateful to be back in the Majors. He said his wife, Sarah, was the first person he told when he found out he'd be getting the callup, and she joined him on the trip along with their infant daughter, Kinsley.
"I always just wanted to keep going," Bernier said about his road back to the Majors. "I felt like I could play at this level, and it helped drive me. And having the support of my wife was huge, because she was in on it, too. So the fact she was supportive helped out. I always just had the belief of keeping going and giving it a try."
Thielbar reports groin injury no longer an issue
ANAHEIM -- Reliever Caleb Thielbar, who had been bothered by a sore groin, got through his one-inning stint against the Indians on Sunday without any problems, and he said on Monday that he's past the injury.
Thielbar threw a scoreless frame against the Indians, lowering his ERA to 0.79. The lefty has struck out 21, walked nine and given up just seven hits in 22 2/3 innings this season.
"Everything is fine," Thielbar said. "I just needed a couple of days. So it's no big deal."
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, who watched Thielbar's outing from his office while battling a stomach illness on Sunday, said he was happy to see that Thielbar is healthy.
"It looked like he got through it just fine," Gardenhire said. "No problems."
Gardenhire feeling better, back in dugout Monday
ANAHEIM -- After spending the previous two games in his office because of a stomach illness, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire returned to the dugout against the Angels on Monday.
Gardenhire was able to fly with the team from Minneapolis without any issues on Sunday night and said he felt much better on Monday.
He was well enough to make a joke at bench coach Terry Steinbach's expense, as Steinbach acted as manager in Gardenhire's absence.
"I can't take Steiny anymore -- he walks too slow to the mound," Gardenhire said with a laugh. "I feel better than yesterday. I'll put it that way. It was like a virus or food poisoning, so I'll take it for whatever it was. All I know is, I wasn't feeling too awful hot. But I feel better today and finally got some food in my stomach."