MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ The Minnesota Twins activated left fielder Jacque Jones from the 15-day disabled list Thursday and optioned right-hander Grant Balfour to Triple-A Rochester.

Jones was on the DL since July 1 with a strained groin. He is hitting .300 with 10 homers, 35 RBIs and 46 runs scored.

Jones hit third for the Twins on Thursday against Oakland, but manager Ron Gardenhire plans to bat him fifth or sixth once his usual No. 3 hitter _ third baseman Corey Koskie _ returns.

An MRI during the All-Star break revealed a ``slightly'' bulging disc in Koskie's back. Koskie told Gardenhire he should be able to play early next week, so Minnesota is holding off on putting him on the disabled list.

Balfour is a promising prospect who had a 3.24 ERA in four relief appearances, but the Twins want him to pitch regularly in the minors and will go with an 11-man staff for the time being.