Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/23/12

When the Minnesota Twins acquired Ryan Doumit in the offseason, they figured they might wind up using him in an emergency role, in case Joe Mauer went through the same kind of injury-riddled season he had in 2011. That hasn't happened to Mauer, though, and Doumit might be a big part of the reason.

He has caught in 35 of the Twins' 95 games this season, which is only eight fewer than Mauer, and Doumit has freed up Mauer to play first base in 16 games while serving as the designated hitter in another 25. In turn, Mauer has been able to give Justin Morneau -- who's also coming off a long stretch of injuries -- a break at first base, and all three hitters have made the Twins tougher on right-handed pitchers.

Doumit proved what he can do again on Sunday, when he became the third player in Twins history to homer from both sides of the plate in the same game. He ripped a solo shot to left field off Jeremy Guthrie in the first inning and took Tim Collins deep in the fifth. Doumit also added a two-run single off Guthrie for a four-RBI day.

He is hitting .291 this season, with nine homers and 45 RBI -- which tie him with Mauer for the second most on the team. Doumit played two games in left field this week, starting there for the first time in his career, and batted fifth for the Twins on Sunday with Morneau on paternity leave.

The Twins signed him to a two-year, $7 million extension at the end of June, and while they initially got him partly as an insurance policy for Mauer and Morneau, he has meant much more to the Twins than that.

"This is a perfect fit for me," Doumit said. "I'm getting the opportunity to play different positions and do different things. You mix that in with the great coaching staff and the guys on the team, and there's no place I'd rather be."

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