Valencia, Span out of lineup after fender bender

The Minnesota Twins’ injury-ravaged season took yet another

bizarre twist when Danny Valencia and Denard Span were held out of

the lineup Friday night after being involved in a minor traffic

accident.

Valencia and Span were out of the lineup against the Cleveland

Indians after suffering general soreness and headaches in the

accident.

After the 6-5 loss to the Indians, manager Ron Gardenhire said

that Valencia will play in at least one of the games in Saturday’s

day-night doubleheader, but isn’t sure about Span, who has been on

the disabled list twice because of a concussion.

The players were traveling in separate vehicles to the airport

Thursday afternoon in Minneapolis following a victory over Seattle

that broke an 11-game losing streak. Valencia’s car, a Range Rover

Sport being driven by his fiancee, stopped in rush hour traffic and

was rear-ended by Span’s car. Span, also driving a Range Rover,

said he was traveling about 10 mph when he hit Valencia’s car.

Both vehicles suffered minor damage.

The Twins, who won the AL Central the last two seasons, have

been riddled with injuries in 2011. Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau,

Jason Kubel, Joe Nathan and Francisco Liriano head the list of key

players who have missed significant time with injuries. Minnesota

is 60-95, the worst record in the league.

”We need a rabbit’s foot,” Valencia said. ”We have bad luck.

It’s unfortunate. When you think it can’t get any worse, it

does.”

Even when the Twins finally got some good news, it was tempered

by another negative turn of events.

”We had a great walkoff win, our first in about two weeks, and

the next thing you know I think I had a bomb drop on my car,”

Valencia said.

”It’s not something I expected coming into the ballpark

today,” Gardenhire said. ”I expect a lot of things, really I

expect just about anything, but that kind of put me over the top on

what else can happen.”

Span played Wednesday, his first action since Aug. 13.

”I’m laughing, but it’s not funny,” said Span, who has

appeared in only 66 games. ”It’s been a rough year for me. It

could have been a lot worse. I’m thankful it wasn’t.”

Valencia said his fiancee was seeing a doctor in Minneapolis on

Friday.