CINCINNATI – The Twins took two losses Monday. One will delay their timeline to clinch an American League Central title. The other could affect their postseason plans.
During a 7-3 loss to the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park, shortstop Carlos Correa exited after the first inning after he reaggravated the plantar fasciitis in his left foot.
It's an injury Correa has managed since May but said he felt "almost like a little pop" when he stopped under a fly ball in shallow left field in the bottom of the first inning. He told Kyle Farmer in the dugout to begin warming up and informed the coaching staff between innings that he needed to come out of the lineup.
"It was tough for me to move around," Correa said. "Even walking, I felt like there was a knife on my heel. Obviously, for me to come out in the first inning, it's got to take a lot. It was very painful."
Correa planned to see how his foot felt Tuesday before meeting with the training staff and coaching staff to determine the next step. The Twins had their magic number to earn a division title drop to five because the Cleveland Guardians lost 6-4 to the Kansas City Royals.
Before Monday's game, Correa said it was the best his foot felt all month. He was running well. He could shuffle around without feeling it. He thought he had a great pregame session in the batting cage.
"I guess feeling great is what we made me stop like that," Correa said. "Usually, when it's sore, I'm more cautious on how I stop. I was not even thinking about it today, to be honest, going into the game. Going after that fly ball, I was just running, feeling great and then I stopped like I've done my entire career. I forgot I had been dealing with that."
The Twins rested Correa for a couple of games last week after his foot pain began affecting his defense. Acting manager Jayce Tingler didn't want to speculate on the severity of Correa's injury, but it's possible Correa might see little playing time for the remainder of the regular season.
"I keep pushing through this, it's not going to get any better," said Correa, who leads the Twins in games played. "I'm not going to get any better. I'm not going to move any better. Maybe some rest and just show up and play meaningful games will probably be best. But at the same time, we haven't clinched yet."
Twins starter Joe Ryan, vying for a spot in the postseason rotation, gave up four runs in five innings. Almost all the damage stemmed from walks.
Ryan issued a leadoff walk to Tyler Stephenson to begin the second inning. Joey Votto followed with a single before Noelvi Marte hit a one-out RBI bloop single to center. One pitch after Ryan gave up his first run, Will Benson lifted a fastball to center field. Michael A. Taylor, a 2021 Gold Glove winner, robbed Benson of a three-run homer with a leaping grab above the wall, forcing Benson to settle for a sacrifice fly.
In the fourth inning, Benson didn't give Taylor a chance. After Ryan issued a two-out walk to Marte, Benson swung at another first pitch and the ball sailed into the fifth row in the center field seats.
"The two runs in the second, I don't think any score if I don't walk Stephenson," said Ryan, who matched a season high with three walks. "The next hitter, Votto, that ground ball probably would have been made if [the first baseman] is back in his normal position. That's two quick outs right there and a little different."
The Twins totaled three hits over seven innings against Reds righthander Connor Phillips, a 22-year-old who made his third career start and earned his first win. Royce Lewis hit a solo homer in the fourth inning, his fourth in his past eight games, and Alex Kirilloff hit a solo homer in the seventh after Phillips retired 10 consecutive batters.
The Reds added three runs in the seventh inning off Dallas Keuchel, who was shifted to the bullpen after Bailey Ober returned to the rotation last weekend.