OAKLAND, Calif. — Miguel Sano will probably undergo an MRI on his left leg when the Twins get back to Minneapolis after today’s game, “just to make sure there’s no undetected damage,” manager Paul Molitor said.
The damage Sano’s hamstring injury does to the Twins’ lineup won’t be nearly so hard to detect.
The Twins’ first post-Sano lineup today, with Joe Mauer getting a day game off, has a Dozier-Plouffe-Park combination batting 3-4-5, and while they’re capable hitters, they also are a combined 7-for-40 (.175) on this road trip, and 22-for-137 (.161) with one home run since May 16. Yikes.
“We’re depleted,” Molitor said. “It’s not an excuse, but I hope someone takes advantage and starts giving me consistency.”
Max Kepler was up before dawn this morning in Indianapolis to catch a five-hour flight to the west coast. The 23-year-old outfielder will get far more playing time, starting today, in this stint with the team than he did when he was with the Twins in April. Molitor has four outfielders, three of whom have spent most of the season in the minor leagues, to work with for now.
Pat Dean, another recent callup, gets the start today as the Twins try to avoid their first sweep in Oakland since 2013, and their eighth three-game sweep of the season. Dean, a lefthander, is coming off a memorable victory in Seattle, where he outpitched Mariners ace Felix Hernandez.
Here are the lineups for today’s getaway-day matinee: