OAKLAND -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said reliever Anthony Swarzak is still working to shake off some rust since coming off the disabled list on Aug. 15.

Swarzak, who missed 20 games with a mild right rotator cuff strain, gave up two runs on four hits and a walk while recording just two outs in Tuesday's 4-1 loss to the A's.

He fared better in his first appearance since coming off the DL on Friday, when he tossed a scoreless inning against the Mariners.

"He just needs to get some more pitching in," Gardenhire said. "He just needs to get the ball down. He was up with everything."

Span takes swings in cage, still not ready to return

OAKLAND -- Twins center fielder Denard Span missed his ninth straight game on Wednesday with an injured right shoulder stemming from an awkward dive in center field on Aug. 12.

Span took batting practice on the field for the first time before Tuesday's game and took swings in the cages before Wednesday's game. But he's still not ready to return.

"I think it went pretty good," Span said. "It was my first day swinging in over a week. So I'm going to heat it up and try to get it going in the cage today and repeat what I did. Hopefully, I'll feel better than I did yesterday."

Span, though, said he still doesn't know when he'll return and isn't sure if he'll be retroactively placed on the disabled list. If placed on the 15-day DL, he wouldn't be able to return until Tuesday.

"I'm not worried about it," Span said. "It's out of my control. If my shoulder is ready to go, I'm going to play. If it's not ready to go, there's nothing I can do about it. If they decide to place me on the disabled list, it's not going to make my shoulder better overnight."

Gardenhire discusses possibility of six-man rotation

OAKLAND -- There's a chance the Twins will go to a six-man rotation in September if they decide to call up another starting pitcher, according to Twins manager Ron Gardenhire.

Rookie right-hander Liam Hendriks rejoined the rotation on Wednesday, giving the Twins a five-man rotation of Scott Diamond, Samuel Deduno, Brian Duensing, Cole De Vries and Hendriks.

But Esmerling Vasquez has been solid at Triple-A Rochester and is a candidate to be a September callup. The right-hander has a 2.86 ERA with 91 strikeouts and 36 walks in 94 1/3 innings with the Red Wings.

"If I have six people that can pitch, that would be wonderful, but right now we have five," Gardenhire said. "If that's the case, I wouldn't be afraid to do that at all, if we want to take a look at six guys."