Paul Molitor wasn’t sure when he arrived at Target Field on Tuesday that he would be able to write Miguel Sano’s name in the lineup. Then he watched Sano take batting practice.
“You could see that there was more confidence,” the Twins’ manager said. “The ball was really coming off his bat. I think he feels he’s ready to go.”
That was good enough for Molitor, who penciled Sano into his usual spot, third in the order. Joe Mauer will bat fourth, and Jorge Polanco, fresh off his 4-for-4 bounce-back game, will bat ninth.
It’s a relief for Molitor, even though the Twins went 2-1 with Sano on the bench, especially since he was skeptical that the soreness in Sano’s hand would subside enough for him to play. “I thought yesterday his batting practice was a little bit tentative, timid, whatever you want to call it,” Molitor said. “I think he was trying to feel his way through it a little bit.”
Sano will wear a padded batting glove for the next few games, to protect the hand that has been hit by pitches twice in the past two weeks. “It’ll be a little bit of a different feel for him,” Molitor said, “but your hands are in position to hit. It should be fine.”
Here are the lineups for the second of four games with the Brewers — the teams fly to Milwaukee after the game to finish the series at Miller Park: