Royals take on Twins team hoping to have Sano back
Sano bruised his lower left leg Tuesday night in a loss to the Astros and was expected to take batting practice Wednesday ahead of the series finale in Houston before the team’s medical staff scratched the plan for precautionary reasons.
“My knee hurts right now, but I feel much better than (Tuesday),” Sano said after Minnesota’s 9-1 loss Wednesday. “(Thursday), we are going to go for rehab and work on my knee.”
Twins manager Paul Molitor thought there was a chance the left fielder could be back as early as Friday for the series opener.
“He’s doing well,” Molitor said. “I wouldn’t have surmised that would be the likely outcome at the time of the injury, but thankfully, he’s doing well. You’re very concerned when it happens, thinking you’re looking at some extended rehab again if things didn’t turn out the way they did. Thankfully, maybe he learned something from it, that he’s going to have some discomfort when he makes impact with that leg. But he survived it and he’s doing well.”
Rosario did take batting practice Wednesday, nearly a week after straining his right quad.
“I think he’s getting a little anxious to play,” Molitor said. “We’ll just try to be smart with it.”
The Royals are hoping to get one of their own back Friday.
Brett Phillips sat out Wednesday at Cleveland, still sore after suffering a shoulder contusion when he crashed into the outfield wall at Progressive Field the night before. He remained in the game for another inning after the collision but came out of the game in the third inning. Jorge Bonifacio took his spot.
Acquired from Milwaukee at the deadline as part of the Mike Moustakas trade, Phillips is batting .202 with two home runs and seven RBIs in 27 games for the Royals.
“We’ll just see how it goes each day with the treatment and how I respond,” Phillips said. “I really don’t know how long I’ll be out.”
Right-hander Heath Fillmyer gets the ball Friday for Kansas City.
Fillmyer allowed only two runs despite giving up nine hits while striking out six over seven innings in a 5-4 victory over Baltimore his last time out Saturday. The rookie is 2-1 with a 4.01 ERA in 13 appearances, including nine starts, this season.
He lasted only three innings in his only appearance against the Twins this season, allowing three runs on five hits and three walks with three strikeouts before a rain delay of 1 hours, 31 minutes brought his day to an end.
The Twins turn to rookie left-hander Stephen Gonsalves, who hasn’t worked past the fifth inning in any of his three big-league starts. He was knocked around by Texas in his last outing last Friday, allowing six runs (three earned) on six hits and four walks before he was chased with two outs in the fourth.
“I think I was just nibbling a little bit,” said Gonsalves, who is 0-2 with a 9.90 ERA. “I was living fractions off the corner of the plate. I think I need to set up and get that strike one first and then start expanding.”
Minnesota had considered using an opener ahead of Gonsalves on Friday but ultimately decided to give the 24-year-old another shot.