Miguel Sano’s day began at the Minnesota State Fair. “He survived,” Paul Molitor said.
Filled with cheesecake and food-on-a-stick, Sano reported to Target Field anxious to return to the lineup. He convinced Twins’ athletic trainers, and his manager, that his sore right hamstring feels a lot better, so his injury absence will last only one day. Sano is back in his cleanup spot, the Twins’ designated hitter as they attempt to do something the Dodgers couldn’t last week: Get a hit off Houston starter Mike Fiers.
“There was improvement today. We’ve been monitoring [him] pretty closely since he got to the park,” Molitor said. “It’s not totally comfortable when you know a guy has the makeup that he does. You’re hoping you’re getting a straight answer, and I think we are.”
Fellow rookie Carlos Correa isn’t healing quite so quickly; the Astros’ shortstop will miss his third straight game with a left hamstring strain.
Molitor said he talked to Sano about “making good decisions” on the field, likely things like not running so hard, he hurts himself worse. “He has to make sure he doesn’t let the emotion get the best of him when he’s out there,” Molitor said.
It didn’t seem to affect Sano during batting practice. He blasted the usual half-dozen line drives into the seats, two of them into the second deck.
Molitor also invoked the name Johnny Vander Meer in his pregame press conference today, though he noted dryly, “I never faced him.” The Reds’ lefthander is the only pitcher ever to pitch back-to-back no-hitters, back in 1938, a feat that Fiers will try to match tonight.
Sure, it’s unlikely, but then again, the Twins had only three hits on Friday.
Here are the lineups for tonight’s 6:10 p.m. start: