Miguel Sano’s weekend went a lot like the eighth inning Sunday.
With two runners on base and two out, Sano dug in against Cleveland’s Cody Allen.
“He was sitting on a breaking ball from Allen,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said.
Sano got what he was looking for. The Twins slugger took a rip at the pitch but just missed crushing it, lifting a fly ball to right that was caught by Lonnie Chisenhall for the final out of the inning.
It was his latest near miss. Sano was 2-for-15 with a walk in the four-game series with the Indians, hitting a handful of balls to the warning track.
“He’s a guy who wants to be a difference-maker, and I don’t fault him,” Molitor said. “You try to be the guy that gets that big hit, makes a big play. He’s carried us at different points of the season.”
Sano is batting .286 with 16 home runs and 48 RBI. One thing to watch is his batting average on balls put it in play (BABIP). He began the day with a .422 mark in that category, which is hard to sustain.
“Not too concerned about him,” Molitor said. “People are going to have some ups and downs, and for the most part he’s been up.”
Dozier gets a day
Molitor has wanted to give Brian Dozier a break; Sunday was that day. The Twins second baseman was not in the starting lineup for the first time since May 9, when he missed three games after injuring his left ankle.
Dozier fought through lingering soreness in the ankle to play in 36 consecutive games leading to Sunday.
“Try to back him off and get him recharged,” Molitor said. “He’s been a good warrior.”
Eduardo Escobar started in place of Dozier, who did pinch hit against Allen in the eighth. Dozier flied out to right and played at second in the ninth.
Santiago to Rochester
Lefthander Hector Santiago left for Class AAA Rochester, where he will start Wednesday as part of a minor league rehabilitation assignment. He landed on the disabled list June 7 because of a sore shoulder but has thrown two bullpen sessions recently, including a 45-pitch effort Saturday.
Whether he will be a starter or reliever remains to be seen, because Molitor raised the possibility of using Santiago out of the bullpen once he returns.
Santiago, 4-6 with a 5.26 ERA, has wondered if pitching in the World Baseball Classic during spring training — instead of being on a normal pitching progression to Opening Day — had something to do with the injury.
Draft pick signings
The Twins have signed six of their 41 picks from last week’s draft.
No. 1 overall pick Royce Lewis signed Saturday at Target Field, and left Sunday for Fort Myers, Fla., for orientation. He could be in the lineup June 26 when the Gulf Coast League Twins begin their season. Outfielder Brent Rooker, taken with the 35th overall pick, signed Friday.
The club also has signed lefthander Charlie Barnes (fourth round), lefthander Bryan Sammons (seventh), outfielder Mark Contreras (eighth) and righthander Calvin Faucher (10th).
Over the next few days, look for the Twins to lock up a deal for third-round pick Blayne Enlow, who has agreed to a bonus of around $2 million. And they have made progress on their fifth-round pick, third baseman Andrew Bechtold.
Rochester outfielder Zack Granite went 0-for-2 Sunday in the second game of a doubleheader with Pawtucket, ending his hitting streak at 17 games. Last year’s Twins Minor League Player of the Year, Granite is hitting .341 with 13 stolen bases.