Miguel Sano has batted fourth more than any other spot in the lineup during his career. Yet it felt odd to see his name in the cleanup spot for tonight’s 6:10 p.m. game with the Athletics.
That’s because Sano hasn’t slotted into the batting order that high since last Sept. 1. A combination of slumps, injuries and the emergence of Eddie Rosario has kept Sano in the No. 7 spot most often this year. But Rosario was feeling sick to his stomach during last night’s 94-degree slog, so he’s getting tonight off, and Sano has had some good at-bats in the first two games of this series, going 1-for-4 with four walks.
“It’s [our] best lineup for today,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “We can be really happy with what we’ve seen from him at the plate.”
Rosario’s absence — Baldelli said he anticipates Rosario returning on Sunday — means Luis Arraez is an outfielder again. The career infielder has made a half-dozen previous starts in left field, but not since July 4. Baldelli said he’s increasingly comfortable sending the 22-year-old rookie out there.
“[He’s] a guy who’s able to make adjustments and learn on the go. Not every guy has the ability to do that,” Baldelli said of Arraez, who before this season hadn’t played the outfield since rookie ball in 2015. “He’s a guy who just grabbed an outfielder’s glove and went out there. … We’re asking [him] to do something that he’s not overly familiar with, but he’s done a great job out there.”
The Twins are sending Jose Berrios, who hasn’t been credited with a victory since June 6, against Oakland’s Brett Anderson. The veteran lefthander has three wins against the Twins, but the last came on Aug. 21, 2012, nearly seven years ago. Still, the A’s are 6-1 in his last seven starts.
Here are the lineups for tonight’s third of four games against Oakland: