Sano serves suspension in opener vs. Sox

Sano serves suspension in opener vs. Sox

CHICAGO -- Twins third baseman Miguel Sano's one-game suspension was upheld by Major League Baseball on Tuesday, and he served it in the 7-2 win over the White Sox. Second baseman Brian Dozier was also held out of the lineup for a third straight game with a mild left ankle sprain.

Sano was suspended for shoving Tigers catcher James McCann on April 22 after left-hander Matthew Boyd threw behind Sano and McCann's glove hit Sano's face as he tried to get between Sano and Boyd.

"I wasn't surprised," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "I was hoping for the best. I don't really care for the ruling. I'll respect it and we'll abide by it. They cited a lot of different reasons why they upheld it and I have the right to disagree."

Sano appealed the suspension, which was handed out on April 24. His hearing was on Friday and lasted 90 minutes via a video conference call, however, his appeal was denied on Tuesday.

"It's frustrating because I want to be with my team," Sano said. "Next time, I'll try to get a suspension for something that I do. I didn't punch him. I was just defending myself."

Molitor said MLB compared it to similar cases to uphold the ruling, but said he disagreed with those comparisons.

"For me, he was provoked twice," Molitor said. "He was provoked by the pitcher and the catcher. I don't think his reaction was surprising because he didn't initiate either of those. He missed half a game already. You can cite whatever you want, but I don't think it matches up with what he did."

Sano, 23, is hitting .300/.431/.640 with eight homers and an American League-best 28 RBIs in 29 games. But the Twins had to do without their No. 3 hitter and leadoff hitter in the series opener, as Dozier was held out for precautionary reasons as well. Dozier took batting practice, ran the bases and took grounders at second before the game, but Molitor said Dozier wasn't quite ready to return, although he's expected to avoid the 10-day disabled list.

"He had a pretty good today," Molitor said. "He's got incrementally better each day, which is encouraging. I didn't want to be influenced by Sano's absence. The good news is that I was concerned about his landing foot when swinging the bat, but it wasn't an issue. He moved OK on grounders, but the baserunning concerns me. It's still high risk."

Worth noting
• Right-hander Nick Tepesch will start against the White Sox on Thursday, but the Twins still need a fifth starter for Saturday's game in Cleveland. Right-hander Jose Berrios is likely to get the call. Chief baseball officer Derek Falvey said he has been monitoring Berrios' starts via video, and that his command has been better.

ByungHo Park (hamstring) was activated from the Minor League DL at Triple-A Rochester. Lefty Stephen Gonsalves (shoulder) returned to action at Double-A Chattanooga on Tuesday, while lefty reliever Tyler Jay (biceps tendinitis) is expected to make his debut later this week. Right-handed reliever J.T. Chargois (elbow impingement) started his rehab in Fort Myers, Fla.

• Left-hander Glen Perkins threw a bullpen session at about 75 percent intensity on Tuesday, and if all goes well in his next two bullpens, he could begin to face hitters, Falvey said.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for since 2011. 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.