Byron Buxton’s broken left big toe is showing signs of coming around.
The center fielder ran the bases Sunday, evidence that he’s feeling less discomfort. He also has been getting some swings in while he patiently waits for the hairline fracture he suffered on April 22 to heal.
“He did some tee and some flip drills yesterday,” Molitor said. “I think he was excited to do that. I think he was pleased with how it went. Not a great gauge for us as far as where we are at. We will probably do a little bit more of the same.”
The Twins were encouraged enough that Buxton will travel on the upcoming road trip to Detroit and Cleveland so he can continue his workouts under their watchful eyes.
Second baseman Brian Dozier, who had appeared in all 61 games before Sunday, was given the day off.
“With Brian, I think that he has played in every game in some capacity at this point, so even though you don’t like to do it after losing a few games, I think you look for time for him to recharge, so I thought today was a good day,” Molitor said.
Dozier was 0-for-8 in the series.
Milestone for Pujols
Angels designated hitter Albert Pujols had three RBI on Sunday, giving him 1,954 for his career, the sixth most all-time.
Baseball-Reference.com lists Pujols seventh because it recognizes the 195 RBI that Cap Anson had in five seasons while playing in the National Association before the NL began play in 1876. That gives Anson 2,075 RBI. If you don’t count the National Association, then Pujols is sixth and Anson falls to 12th.
Mauer could return this week
Joe Mauer could return to the Twins lineup toward the end of the week.
Mauer on Monday will join Class AAA Rochester to begin a minor league rehabilitation assignment after having a stretch of workout days without any concussion symptoms.
Twins manager Paul Molitor said Mauer will be the designated hitter on Tuesday against Scranton-Wilkes Barre and will play first base Wednesday. If he gets through those games with no setbacks, he could be activated shortly thereafter.
“I’m hopeful,” Molitor said. “We haven’t checked all the boxes. One of them is including playing a nine-inning game. Probably DH the first game and see if we can get him out there the next day.”
Mauer, batting .283 with a home run 11 RBI and .404 on-base percentage, has missed 22 games since landing on the DL because of a cervical strain. It was after that when he began dealing with concussion symptoms. Recovering from those has taken longer than anticipated.
Royce Lewis, a shortstop at Class A Cedar Rapids and the Twins’ top prospect, left Sunday’s game at Wisconsin after he was injured on the basepaths.
Lewis, the designated hitter on Sunday, flied out to left field in the first inning but took an awkward step while running to first base. He was pulled from the game as a precaution and will be re-evaluated on Monday.
Lewis is batting .288 with five home runs and 32 RBI for the Kernels.
Class AA Chattanooga outfielder Brent Rooker was named Twins minor league player of the week after batting .450 in six games last week.