Justin Morneau says thank you to his fans for support

DENVER -- After joking that Rockies first baseman Justin Morneau was "a traitor," manager Ron Gardenhire said before Friday's series opener that he was looking forward to facing him.

"We have a lot of respect for him," Gardenhire said, "I do, especially. I spent a lot of good years with him, very professional baseball player. Now our job is to get him out, keep him in the ballpark here. It'll be nice seeing him out on the baseball field."

Morneau entered the game hitting .313 in 86 games with 20 doubles, 13 homers and 59 RBIs. He leads the Rockies in doubles and RBIs and was tied for third in the National League in the latter category.

Asked how the Twins would pitch Morneau, Gardenhire said, "Carefully. He's going very good. We got plans. We'll see how it works out."

Santana working out in Florida before rehab stint

MIN@LAA: Santana injures leg on a double, exits game

DENVER -- Assistant general manager Rob Antony said shortstop Danny Santana (left knee deep bone bruise) flew from Minneapolis to Fort Myers, Fla., where he will work out for a few days with the Twins' team in the rookie level Gulf Coast League before beginning a rehab assignment with Class A Advanced Fort Myers.

Santana last played for the Twins on June 25 and could be activated next Friday when the Twins resume play after the All-Star break.

Antony said that pitcher Ricky Nolasco (right elbow strain) went home to Florida to continue his rehab and will be back in Minnesota on Thursday, as will pitcher Mike Pelfry, who had right elbow surgery June 10 and who went home to Wichita, Kan.

Worth noting

Twins reliever Samuel Deduno began his career in the Rockies organization and pitched in four games for the Rockies, two at Coors Field, late in the 2010 season.

The Twins only other trip to Coors Field was in 2008 when they lost two of three games. The Twins won two of three from the Rockies at the Metrodome in '03 and again at Target Field in 2010.

Due to the Twins' late arrival in Denver after their Thursday night game at Seattle, manager Ron Gardenhire kept left fielder Josh Willingham out of the lineup.

"We got in at 4 o'clock in the morning. He's 80 years old," Gardenhire joked. "No, 35 years old. I would have done it with [catcher Kurt] Suzuki, too. But I need a little offense in there, and Suzuk's swinging really well. Suzuki will get a day tomorrow."