The Twins learned Nelson Cruz was on his way to Tampa Bay in a trade less than two hours before Thursday's 3-2 loss to the Angels.

The news wasn't exactly motivating for the Twins to go out and play a ballgame Thursday night.

"Everybody felt sad because the kind of person he is, the kind of teammate, he's a great man, great leader, great father," the Twins' Miguel Sano said. "I got him in my heart like my dad."

Sano wanted to honor Cruz, and to do so he put on a pair of Cruz's pants before taking the field Thursday.

Sano doubled, scored and even stole third base in those pants. The Twins scored their only two runs of the game in the fourth inning as Kenta Maeda struck out his fellow Japanese star Shohei Ohtani (0-for-4) twice.

"While I like to enjoy the moment, I also wanted to make sure I retired him every time I faced him," Maeda said. "I think it was a good battle tonight."

Maeda's only mistake in seven innings was a three-run home run he allowed to third baseman Jack Mayfield, the No. 9 batter in the Angels order, on a hanging 3-2 slider in the fifth while Andrew Heaney retired the last nine batters he faced in going seven to get the win for the Angels.

BOXSCORE: L.A. Angels 3, Twins 2

But even a win would not have put many smiles on the Twins' faces after losing one of the heartbeats of their clubhouse, even if they knew there was a strong possibility the team would deal Cruz.

"Like I said earlier, he's my dude. He's my dad," Sano said. "He's my guy and everything. And I hope he comes back next year to the Twins' organization. I saw him cry, and I'm crying too when I saw him like that. He didn't want to leave. But you know, like I said, that's part of the game."

Manager Rocco Baldelli said the team was going to have "incredible" memories of Cruz, and the team got to express that to Cruz and he to them before the game.

"It's impossible to not also acknowledge and know that we just lost a member of our team who has been about as important to this organization and to our group as any player has ever been to an organization that I've been around," Baldelli said.

For some, like Sano, seeing Cruz go was losing more than a teammate.

"He's not only like a player but something bigger than that," Sano said. "That kind of heart, he has it."

Arraez avoids injured list

Baldelli said outfielder-infielder Luis Arraez had an MRI that showed a minor strain of Arraez's soleus muscle.

"We're still going to continue to treat it day-to-day as long as he continues to get better," Baldelli said.

Baldelli said they will see how Arraez, who was hurt Tuesday attempting to catch a sinking line drive, responds over the next day or two days. Baldelli said the team was hopeful Arraez would avoid having to go on the injured list as long as his calf responds positively.

Garlick to have surgery

Kyle Garlick, who was rehabbing with St. Paul, opted to have surgery to repair a hernia, Baldelli said.

"This was something we were fully prepared for, and we wanted to see if he could find a way to play successfully without having to have surgery, but with a true hernia this is something that we figured might be going," Baldelli said.

Baldelli said the outfielder ultimately made the call to have the surgery and Baldelli wasn't sure how long Garlick would be out. Garlick was hitting .232 in 99 at bats with the Twins.


  • Catcher Mitch Garver was away from the team on paternity leave as he and his wife, Sarah, welcomed a boy, Gamble Lynn Garver, Thursday afternoon. Gamble weighed in at 7 pounds, 2 ounces. The Twins recalled Ben Rortvedt from Class AAA St. Paul to replace Garver.
  • The Twins signed four more draft picks: first-rounder Noah Miller, who was at Target Field on Thursday; second-round pitcher Steven Hajjar; ninth-round catcher Patrick Winkel; and 18th round pitcher Michael Paredes.