BALTIMORE – Miguel Sano hadn't played for three games after hurting his left knee while jumping up and down on the field after he helped orchestrate a walkoff Twins victory against Detroit a week ago. And he was ready to be back out among his teammates Saturday at Tampa Bay.

"Still soreness. But sometimes, we need to play with the soreness," Sano said before that game, when he downplayed the injury as a bone bruise. "That's what I'm going to do."

It was a valiant effort to muscle through the discomfort, but it ultimately backfired, as Sano left the game in the bottom of the seventh before the team announced Tuesday he will have surgery to repair a torn meniscus.

The Twins initially evaluated Sano the day after he sustained the injury and re-evaluated him Sunday after the failed comeback. Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said Sano's pain did worsen after playing Saturday, so much so that his limp grew to needing to use crutches.

"This is a guy that plays through everything," Baldelli said. "… He was not going to be able to play through this. … He was going to try to play through it, and he gave it a pretty good go. But moving around at some point, he obviously felt it, and it came back significantly worse than it originally was."

Sano's surgery will happen later this week, though the Twins declined to announce any specifics on the exact date and site. Sano was not in the clubhouse before Tuesday's game in Baltimore.

Baldelli termed the recovery as "not generally the longest of rehabs." Per the Cleveland Clinic, this kind of minimally invasive surgery can take six weeks to three months to return from, with many people resuming normal activities within eight weeks. That could mark Sano for a midseason return.

The 28-year-old has hurt himself during a celebration before, when he cut his foot celebrating his team's championship in the Dominican Winter League, delaying the start of his 2019 season. Baldelli said there's really no way to safeguard against those kinds of freak incidents, especially ones that occur when emotions are at a high.

"I mean, there's no way around it being frustrating. There's no way to talk about it without probably mentioning [the celebration]," Baldelli said. "But frankly, dwelling on that doesn't accomplish much, and I think he just wants to get healthy. The guy just wants to play. He loves playing, and I think he just wants to get it done as quickly as possible so that he can get on the field."

Miranda to first

Jose Miranda made his major league debut Monday in Baltimore, batting sixth, going 0-for-4 and playing third base. With the nerves of that milestone out of the way, Miranda started at first base Tuesday, batting fifth.

Although he's a third baseman mainly and is more comfortable there, Miranda said he can handle playing first as well. He worked with assistant bench coach Tony Diaz and sometimes-third baseman Luis Arraez on the field ahead of the game Tuesday.

With Sano out, Miranda could find himself at first base fairly often. Arraez has also begun filling in at first, with Sano injured and backup Alex Kirilloff still with Class AAA St. Paul rehabbing his right wrist.

"For a guy that really hasn't played over there, I think he processes what to do over there on the mental side pretty good," Baldelli said of Arraez. "I think his footwork's been pretty good. There's still a lot to learn over there, and he's going to keep working, but I think it's looked fairly natural."

With Miranda playing third Monday night, Baldelli subbed him out for Gio Urshela before the bottom of the ninth with the Twins ahead by one run. Baldelli said he won't hesitate to make moves like that within games, to have more experienced players at key positions in tight situations.

More rehab for Gray

Sonny Gray will make another rehab start before he re-enters the Twins' starting rotation. Baldelli said that should happen with the St. Paul Saints once the Twins return to Minnesota, as Gray has been with the team throughout this road trip. Gray started for Fort Myers this past Sunday, going three innings.

That means Josh Winder will have another start, with Gray and fellow starter Bailey Ober both on the injured list. Winder had a strong starting debut Sunday in Tampa Bay.

The Twins have still not announced Thursday's starter for the series finale in Baltimore. Chris Archer is a likely candidate, though it could also be a bullpen game.