Escobar's groin strain compounds Twins' woes

Shortstop exits in third inning after making key error

Escobar's groin strain compounds Twins' woes

CHICAGO -- Friday started with a storm of roster moves for the Twins, and it ended with the indication another one is on the way.

Shortstop Eduardo Escobar left Friday's 10-4 loss to the White Sox in the third inning with a strained left groin. After the game, Twins manager Paul Molitor delivered the news in a matter-of-fact manner, like a man who is getting used to the task.

"He's got a left groin strain, most likely headed to the disabled list," Molitor said. "If that happens, then we'd probably have to make the corresponding move tomorrow."

Escobar, a .237 hitter this season, appeared to tweak the groin as his foot hit first base when he grounded out to shortstop Tyler Saladino in the second inning. Escobar talked with Molitor and a team trainer after the play and stayed in the game, but he did not come out for the third. The Twins shuffled around their defense and Eddie Rosario replaced him in the order.

The injury compounded what was already a rough night for Escobar, who booted a routine ground ball with two outs in the first. The mistake was his fifth error of the season, the most on the team, and set up a Melky Cabrera two-RBI double that put the Twins behind early.

And that wasn't the half of it for Minnesota.

For the first time all season, Joe Mauer failed to reach base, ending his streak at 28 games The Twins did not register a hit after the fifth inning. Ricky Nolasco surrendered a season-high seven runs and threw a season-low five innings.

"It's just frustrating right now," Nolasco said. "I felt pretty good. I thought I had a little extra on the heater with it being warm. I definitely didn't envision that [performance] with the way that I felt."

And though much of the misfortune was their own doing, it seems as if the Twins can't catch a break. In the fifth inning, Adam Eaton led off with a triple against Nolasco. The Twins brought the infield in because they were only down 5-4 at the time. Austin Jackson hit a weak ball to Mauer at first base, but it took him just to the right, and because the infield was in, Nolasco was anticipating a throw home and didn't run to cover first.

"It's kind of the same story," Nolasco said. "We're just not catching breaks right now. A lot of balls [if they] go the other way, we're right in the game."

The Twins have no choice but to keep moving forward, even if that means doing so without their shortstop.

"A lot of things that didn't go our way, for sure," Molitor said.

Cody Stavenhagen is a reporter for based in Chicago. He covered the Twins on Friday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.