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Twins Insider

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

Byung Ho Park to undergo season-ending hand surgery

    Byung Ho Park’s first season in the U.S. is ending early.

    Park will undergo surgery in Minneapolis on Thursday morning to repair a tendon on the back of his right hand, an injury that has been bothering him occasionally for the past few months. The tendon might be torn, Park said he was told by surgeon Dr. Tom Varecka, but he won’t know until the surgery.

    “It’s been bothering me, not seriously, but the pain’s been there from time to time,” Park said through interpreter J.D. Kim. “After I got sent down to Rochester, the pain got a little worse and I thought it was time to get it checked out.”

    Park, who signed a four-year, $12 million contract last December, will rehab here until the season ends next month, Twins manager Paul Molitor said.

    It’s been a rough first season for the South Korean slugger, who opened the season as the Twins’ everyday designated hitter and slugged six homers in April. His results declined, however, as the season went on, and by the time he was optioned to Class AAA Rochester at the end of June, he had added only six more homers, his batting average stood at .191 and his OPS was just .684. He also struck out 80 times in 215 at-bats.

    Check back to startribune.com for further updates on Park’s condition, and his thoughts on his first MLB season.

    In other injury news, the Twins have decided to give Hector Santiago a few extra days as he nurses a bruised thumb on his left hand. Santiago’s ERA in four starts with the Twins is 11.37, so the hope is that the extra time off allows him to regroup before returning next week. In his place, lefthander Pat Dean will start Friday’s game in Toronto.

    Eduardo Escobar is back in the lineup, but at third base, and Max Kepler, battling a 7-for-41 slump over his last 10 games, has been dropped to seventh in the order for the first time since July 1.

    Here are the lineups for tonight’s second game with Detroit:

TIGERS

 

Maybin CF

Aybar SS

Cabrera 1B

V. Martinez DH

J.D. Martinez RF

Upton LF

McGehee 3B

Saltalamacchia C

Romine 2B

 

Boyd LHP

 

TWINS

 

Dozier 2B

Grossman LF

Sano DH

Plouffe 1B

Polanco SS

Escobar 3B

Kepler RF

Suzuki C

Rosario CF

 

Duffey RHP

Postgame: Polanco's baserunning impresses Molitor

    A couple of extras from a rainy night in Minneapolis:

    Jorge Polanco impressed his manager with a couple of smart baserunning plays in the third inning.

    Polanco laced a 2-2 slider into the right-field corner, easily scoring Brian Dozier from second base. And when J.D. Martinez didn’t pick up the ball cleanly, Polanco sped up at second base and headed for third. Good job of recognizing he could take the extra base with one out, Molitor credited.

    When Joe Mauer followed with a ground ball to second base, Polanco froze a few steps off third base, making certain that Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler would throw to first. When he did, Polanco scooted home with another run.

Light sees first action

    Pat Light made his Twins debut on Tuesday, relieving Michael Tonkin with one out in the seventh inning. The righthander allowed a single to J.D. Martinez, but then struck out Justin Upton and retired Casey McGehee on a line drive to center field.

    “It was a situation where I had to get ready quick,” said Light, who was acquired from Boston at the trade deadline three weeks ago. “It’s actually sometimes good getting ready quick — just get your arm loose and get out there.”

    It was Light’s third career appearance in a major-league game, and by far his best. In his debut in April, Light allowed two runs in one inning of work; in July, he was hit around for six runs, five earned, while recording five outs. That’s a career ERA of 23.62 — reduced to 18.90 by Tuesday’s success.

     “It was good to get out there and pitch well,” Light said, “especially after those first couple in Boston.”

Losing streak continues

    Paul Molitor on the Twins’ five-game losing streak, their longest since mid-June: “I’m holding on to hope that we’re going to play better and get back on track. This started on that last homestand, where we didn’t play particularly well, and things got a little sloppy. “

Top 7th R H E
Detroit 66-59 6 9 0
Minnesota 49-76 3 5 0