Sano returns to Twins' lineup vs. Angels

Rookie missed 2 games after mild ankle sprain

Sano returns to Twins' lineup vs. Angels

ANAHEIM -- Rookie designated hitter Miguel Sano returned to the lineup as the cleanup hitter for the Twins against the Angels on Wednesday after missing two games with a mild right ankle sprain.

Sano went 0-for-3 with two walks, but saw a combined 26 pitches in his five plate appearances in Minnesota's 5-2 loss to the Angels.

Sano suffered the injury before Saturday's game in Oakland, as he stepped on a baseball while taking grounders at first base during batting practice. He was able to play on Saturday, going 0-for-3 with a sacrifice fly, but it worsened as the game went along, and he was held out of the lineup on Sunday and Tuesday.

Sano's go-ahead sacrifice fly

But Sano tested out his ankle on Tuesday and Wednesday, and felt good enough to return as the club's designated hitter.

"It's good to be back in the lineup," Sano said. "I'm ready to go and ready to play baseball. Yesterday, I ran outside and hit in the cage and felt good."

The offense suffered without Sano, as the Twins combined to score just one run over the two games, which were both losses. Sano, 22, has been impressive since being called up on July 2, as he entered Wednesday hitting .326/.434/.558 with two homers, four doubles and nine RBIs in 13 games.

Sano, ranked as the No. 8 overall prospect by MLB.com, said it was no fun watching from the bench knowing he wasn't able to contribute.

"When I'm on the bench and I can't play, it doesn't feel good," Sano said. "I don't like to be on the bench. It's different when I'm playing and in the game. But when I'm on the bench, you just watch and can't do nothing. So I like to be in the game and play."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.