DETROIT – Eddie Rosario ran in the outfield Monday, felt good, then made his case to Twins manager Paul Molitor that he’s ready to play in the outfield again after injuring his right quadriceps Aug. 30 in Cleveland.
Rosario has been eager to end his run at designated hitter.
“My numbers are not good at DH,” said Rosario, who is batting .188 this season as a DH.
Rosario got the go-ahead to start in left Monday — and celebrated by blasting a home run to left field off Jordan Zimmermann in the first inning.
But he was not on the field for the end of the Twins’ 6-1 victory over the Tigers after aggravating his quadriceps injury in the fourth inning. He is out indefinitely and, with the season nearly over, is likely done on defense for 2018.
Rosario was injured as he chased down a single to left-center by Jim Adduci with a runner on first. Rosario tracked down the ball and was slowing down to throw it back in — but then he slipped on the grass, fell backward and had his leg fold up under him.
“I was afraid he was going to blow his knee out or his ankle or something,” Molitor said. “Obviously the leg bent awkwardly.”
Rosario tried to flip the ball to center fielder Jake Cave, as he was in pain, but the ball scooted past Cave. That enabled Nick Castellanos to score from first while Adduci pulled into second. Rosario was charged with an error for allowing the runners to advance.
Molitor and Twins head trainer Tony Leo ran out to left field to check on Rosario, who eventually walked off the field.
“With the slip, and we don’t have a great angle from where we are, it just looked like it was very awkward and obviously was in immediately pain,” Molitor said. “We were able to get him off the field on his own.”
It took from Aug. 30 until Monday for Rosario to get back on the field. With this injury, it’s questionable if he will be anything other than a DH the rest over the final two weeks of the season — once he is able to do that.
The Twins had just taken a 5-0 lead in the fourth inning on RBI singles by Jake Cave and Ehire Adrianza, an RBI groundout by Willians Astudillo and a run-scoring single by Joe Mauer.
Righthander Kohl Stewart, who entered after Gabriel Moya opened with a scoreless inning, held the Tigers to one unearned run over six innings on three hits and three walks with five strikeouts. The only run during his watch came on the plate in which Rosario was injured.
“I felt comfortable tonight,” said Stewart (2-1). “I knew what to expect. I guess the more you do something, the better you’re going to understand it.”
Jorge Polanco added a home run in the ninth, his second game in a row with a homer, one pitch after he hooked one just foul.