OAKLAND, Calif. — Miguel Sano did not appear in the second game of Tuesday's doubleheader against the Oakland A's.
The Twins turned up runless in both, and at first glance, it appeared Sano might have missed the cut because of performance. Lefty Jesus Luzardo started the second game, which ended as a 1-0 victory for Oakland after a 7-0 afternoon drubbing. That made the first time since Sept. 12, 2019, that Sano hadn't started against a lefty, and that last time was because of a back injury.
But Manager Rocco Baldelli said postgame Sano took a seat because of a potential injury. Even though the first baseman hit .159 against lefties in 2020 only to drop to one-for-16 in 2021 so far. (Also shameless plug to my favorite beat partner, Phil Miller, who pulled these stats even on his off day because he is an absolute machine!)
"Hamstring tightened up on him a little bit, so we're going to continue to evaluate him," Baldelli said postgame, adding it was Sano's right hamstring. "He was in the training room getting some work done. He was not playing in the second game based on what we had found so far. We'll see how he's doing [Wednesday] and then we have an off day coming up, too."
Designated hitter Nelson Cruz also appeared to limp off the field in the final inning, after he took a pitch off his heel and was removed for a pinch-runner.
"Nellie still had a smile on his face," Baldelli said. "He was limping a little bit afterwards. I think it caught him pretty square. We're going to get him looked at, and he'll be in the training room to get that evaluated. We'll see what we've got there, too. It's early. The game just ended and it's tough to know what to expect."
Injuries to two starters would be just what the Twins don't need right now, after losing eight of their past nine games, dealing with four current COVID-19 cases from three players and one staff member plus the postponements that piled up because of it. But the team has just one matinee game at Oakland on Wednesday left before they can hop on a plane and enjoy the comforts of home.
Except Kyle Garlick, Max Kepler, Caleb Thielbar (contact-tracing) and that one staff member. They might be stuck in California a little longer.