Sano gets breather following HBP on left hand

Sano gets breather following HBP on left hand

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins third baseman Miguel Sano's left hand remains bruised and sore after being hit by a pitch from Rangers reliever Tony Barnette on Friday, and he was held out of the lineup on Saturday.

The 91.6-mph fastball hit Sano near his left knuckle, which is a similar spot to when he was hit on the left wrist by a pitch from Dodgers reliever Josh Fields on July 24. That injury caused Sano to be held out the lineup for two games, but Sano said this one is worse. He said he's not sure when he'll return to action, but the Twins are hopeful he'll avoid the 10-day disabled list.

"I can close my hand, but when I try to grip it or do something, it hurts," Sano said. "When I woke up this morning I couldn't even make a fist, but last night I could."

Sano said he was glad to hear that an X-ray performed on Friday came back negative, because he feared it might've been broken when he went to the ground after being hit by the pitch.

"It's a relief because it really hurt when I first got hit, but there are no broken bones," Sano said. "There's just a little bruise in there."

With Sano out, Eduardo Escobar got the start at third base. He's expected to fill in for Sano, while Ehire Adrianza could also see action at third. Adrianza made his first start of the year at first on Saturday with Joe Mauer out of the lineup for a planned day of rest against lefty Cole Hamels.

Worth noting

• Left-hander Hector Santiago, on the 10-day disabled list since July 3 with an upper back strain, will make one more rehab start with Triple-A Rochester before being activated. Santiago is coming off a strong start, allowing one run over 5 2/3 innings on Thursday, but his velocity is still peaking at 90 mph, so the Twins want him to continue to build more arm strength.

"We originally talked about three starts, but we are still trying to build arm strength there," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "With the lack of pitching he has done over the last several weeks, I think that's the best course of action for him as well to refine some of his secondary stuff."

• Left-hander Glen Perkins, who is on a rehab assignment as he recovers from labrum surgery, returned to Target Field on Saturday. Perkins made a combined five appearances in the Gulf Coast League and with Class A Advanced Fort Myers, and will move up to Double-A Chattanooga next. He's in Minnesota for his annual charity race, Fifteen's 5K, which is Sunday.

"It was good to see him," Molitor said. "I'm encouraged by our conversation that he is feeling as well as he has in a really long time. He's also excited about the fact he's seen some of his stuff return. As much he is antsy to get back up here, I told him we have to go through the process of finding ways to extend his pitches on a given day. We have to pitch him back-to-back, all those things that we need to do before we get real serious about stepping it up here. He understands that."

• The Twins continue to shake up their front office, as they parted ways with Jack Goin, who was their director of baseball research and had worked for the team since 2001. Minnesota also dismissed area scouts Mark Wilson, Marty Esposito, Alan Sandberg and Ted Williams.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.