ARLINGTON, Texas — While his teammates are eager for a four-day break, Eduardo Nunez will be busy. He’s not complaining, of course — being selected as an All-Star can be a career-changing event for a player who until this season was only a part-time player.
But with travel and All-Star obligations eating up much of the break for Nunez, manager Paul Molitor decided to give the infielder the afternoon off today. Nunez hasn’t missed a game since May 17, and has been in the starting lineup as the leadoff hitter for every game but one since May 23, so his one-day courtesy benching gives the Twins’ lineup an unusual look.
Well, a throwback one, actually. Molitor said he considered Danny Santana, but chose instead to put Brian Dozier — his cleanup hitter for nearly a month — back atop the lineup.
“There’s a guy who I know likes to lead off, and can step up there and provide instant offense for us,” Molitor said. “So we’ll give him a chance to lead off.”
Byron Buxton is available to play, but Molitor figured it makes more sense to extend his time off and not risk aggravating the bone bruise in his right knee. He’ll return to the lineup on Friday when the second half begins.
The Twins have already won the season series, but they would like to keep their recent hot streak — 6-3 in July — alive heading into the break. Tommy Milone gets the start on a 92-degree day in Texas.
Here are the lineups for the 2 p.m. game: