MILWAUKEE – Danny Santana was back in center field Monday after missing two games because he needed seven stitches to repair a lacerated upper left eyelid. Santana suffered the injury while trying to steal third base Friday against the Yankees. His helmet fell off as he slid for the bag, bounced off the ground and hit him in the face.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire wanted to make sure Santana was able to play Monday, having him put on a helmet and run around the bases during early workouts. Santana did, and was cleared to play.
“He was lobbying pretty hard to play [Sunday] and we were actually going to pinch run with him if the chance came up,” Gardenhire said. “The trainers tell me he is fine and the kid tells me he wants to play. We are good.”
Santana, a shortstop batting .375 in 15 games, returned to center field, where he’s needed to play when Aaron Hicks is not in the lineup. It’s not the best arrangement, but it gets Santana and his speed in the lineup. He’ll likely continue in the role until Sam Fuld returns from the concussion disabled list.
Things are looking up for Fuld as he recovers. He went through a full workout Monday at Target Field, hitting, throwing and running. He will continue the workouts until the team returns from its current road trip, then join them for early batting practice.
For the second consecutive year, the Twins and Brewers are playing a pair of two-game series during the work week. On Monday, the teams took the field with thousands of empty seats throughout Miller Park.
Before 2013, the interleague rivalry games were mostly played on weekends, with Twins fans driving across Wisconsin on Interstate 94 in droves to attend the series, and Brewers fans doing the reverse for the rematch. It helped create a spirited atmosphere at both ballparks. Not so much now.
It’s hard for the masses to travel during the week, and with school still in session.
It seems to be something the league would want to get back to.
“People aren’t able to take off work as much,” Gardenhire said. “I’m sure someone will come down with a cough and make it anyway.”
• Mike Pelfrey is taking anti-inflammatory medication for his ulnar nerve problem. He will wait a few days then do some light throwing to see how it responds. He’s still expected to go to Birmingham, Ala., to visit Dr. James Andrews, who performed Tommy John surgery on him in 2012. Pelfrey was on a rehabilitation assignment at Class AAA Rochester when the nerve problem was discovered.
• Twins radio voice Corey Provus, who had to leave the booth in the fifth inning of Wednesday’s game because a virus was affecting his speech, was back behind the microphone Monday. He missed Thursday’s game against Texas, then had the series in New York off because of family commitments. Provus, who said he’s never missed a game because of illness before, estimated himself at “90-95 percent.”
• With doubles in his first two at-bats Monday, Joe Mauer passed Justin Morneau for fifth on the Twins’ career list with 290.
• For those of you wondering why Monday’s game started at 6:20 p.m.: It was WTMJ Day, for the longtime radio home of the Brewers. The frequency is 620-AM. And some tickets were available for $6.20.