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La Velle E. Neal III and Phil Miller report on the Twins from wherever they make news

Polanco at DH, Sano sits in speedy Twins lineup vs. White Sox

Twins manager Paul Molitor doesn't want Jorge Polanco to waste on the bench during his latest stint in the majors. So Polanco today is the designated hitter in a lineup that is short on power but has plenty of speed.

Polanco was called up in the aftermath of Eduardo Nunez being dealt to San Francisco on Thursday.

Molitor indicated that he'll use Polanco at a variety of positions, including second, short and third. His arm and range are best suited for second, but Molitor said Polanco's arm looked OK when he played short during spring training. His defense at third - footwork, throws, etc. - has improved at third base.

Polanco has played 64 games at second at Class AAA Rochester, two at third and none at short. He started at third on Wednesday.

Miguel Sano is in a 2-for-14 skid with no walks and nine strikeouts over his last three games. Molitor thinks Sano is pressing at the plate and needs a day off.

Joe Mauer's next walk will be the 800th of his career.

Brian Dozier is batting .306 over his last 46 games.

Robbie Grossman is batting leadoff for just the second time this season. But this will be the 101st time in his career he's led off, the most of any spot in the order.

Danny Santana has never played third base in the majors and just twice in the minors. Once was this year while on a rehab assignment at Class A Fort Myers and 2010 with Class A Beloit.

So, yes, this is an interesting lineup.

Yahoo is reporting that the Rangers are doing their, `due diligence,' on Kurt Suzuki. Not sure if the Twins will part with Suzuki that easily. They don't have a catcher ready to step in, with John Ryan Murphy batting .213 at Rochester and the offseason free agent market not looking strong. Pittsburgh proactively extended Francisco Cervelli because of the lack of quality catching that will be on the market. Matt Wieters is a free agent, but Baltimore is expected to keep him. 


White Sox

Tim Anderson, SS
Tyler Saladino, 3B
Melky Cabrera, LF
Jose Abreu, 1B
Avisail Garcia, RF
The Former Twin, DH
Dionner Navarro, C
Carlos Sanchez, 2B
J.B. Shuck, CF

Miguel Gonzalez, RHP


Twins

Robbie Grossman, LF
Joe Mauer, 1B
Max Kepler, RF
Brian Dozier, 2B
Kurt Suzuki, C
Eduardo Escobar, SS
Jorge Polanco, DH
Danny Santana, 3B
Byron Buxton, CF

Tommy Milone, LHP

Postgame: Nolasco finished his extra-long start with a flourish

    After three extra innings, here are three extra notes from the Twins’ 2-1 win over the White Sox:

    Paul Molitor has regretted it a couple of times this season when he’s allowed Ricky Nolasco to pitch one more inning as his pitch count climbed, but there was no problem doing it on Friday. For one thing, the veteran righthander had thrown only 88 pitches through seven innings, a number he had exceeded 18 times already this season. And for another, Nolasco hadn’t allowed a runner to reach third base since Adam Eaton’s leadoff home run.

    “We talked about going back out there for the eighth inning, and he was good,” Molitor said. “He had a really nice clean innings.” In fact, Nolasco finished with a flourish, getting J.B. Shuck on a first-pitch line out, then striking out Tyler Saladino and Carlos Sanchez to give him six whiffs on the night.

    It was Nolasco’s 29th career start of eight or more innings, but only his fourth with the Twins. And he had not gone that long since Sept. 16, 2014.

    Still, Nolasco wasn’t credited with the victory; that went to reliever  Trevor May, who is now 2-2 on the season. Nolasco still has four wins this season, one each in April, May, June and July.

XXX

    Miguel Sano spoiled the Twins’ best chance at a big inning against Jose Quintana with a baserunning gaffe.

    “It’s one of those areas where we continue to try to teach,” Molitor shrugged, “and you have to be patient.”

    Sano was on second base with one out after doubling off Quintana — his first hit off the left-hander after an 0-for-9 start to his career. But when Kennys Vargas lined a soft single to right field, Sano only moved a few steps toward third base. When it fell in, he suddenly raced for third, passed third-base coach Gene Glynn’s stop sign, and headed home, where he was easily tagged out. Brian Dozier scored ahead of Sano, but it was the Twins’ only run in a four-hit inning. The run loomed large in a game that was still 1-1 in the 12th inning.

    Molitor said the team has emphasized “the whole idea of being focused whoever you’re at are on the field — in the [batter’s] box, playing defense, on the bases.”

    But that’s a lesson Sano forgot.

    “It wasn’t a particularly good read, [because it] sure looked like a hit off the bat,” the manager said. Sano “kind of hung out there for awhile and then put his head down. You get a good read, you probably score easy. But when you don’t, you’ve got to  pick up the coach.”

XXX

    Molitor after the game, noting it was the fifth time in the last nine games that the Twins have allowed the first batter of the game to hit a home run: “We might walk [Adam] Eaton tomorrow.”

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