CHICAGO -- Cubs center fielder Albert Almora Jr. was removed in the fifth inning of Saturday's 14-9 win over the Twins at Wrigley Field because of heat-related cramps in both of his legs.Almora said he first felt a calf cramp up during his at-bat in the fifth inning, when he
CHICAGO -- Cubs center fielder Albert Almora Jr. was removed in the fifth inning of Saturday's 14-9 win over the Twins at Wrigley Field because of heat-related cramps in both of his legs.
Almora said he first felt a calf cramp up during his at-bat in the fifth inning, when he swung over a 3-1 curveball. He flipped the next pitch into left field for a go-ahead RBI single, and he said both legs tightened up as he ran to first. Almora is not expected to play on Sunday against Twins right-hander Lance Lynn.
"Things happen in games," Almora said. "Cramps are definitely part of it."
Initially, Almora stayed in the game when both manager Joe Maddon and athletic trainer PJ Mainville evaluated him, but only because Maddon didn't have a pitcher ready to pinch-run for the center fielder right away. Mike Montgomery, who ran for Almora on second base after Jason Heyward singled, had to put cleats on before running, because he was wearing sneakers.
"I needed a pitcher to run," Maddon said. "Because of that spot in the batting order, I couldn't just put a player in there without messing up what we were doing.
"I said, 'Albert, you just need to jog to second base. Just jog. Walk. I don't care. Just stay until we get a pitcher ready.'"
Almora was one of four players to leave Saturday's game with heat-related issues. Three Twins players -- Eddie Rosario, Bobby Wilson and Max Kepler -- left with heat illness. The heat index was 101 degrees at first pitch, and it reached 107 degrees in the middle innings.
"Guys, it was really hot. It was hot out there," Almora said about the four players exiting the game. "We're all playing this game pretty hard. [The heat] can get to you."
Almora went 3-for-3 with two RBIs in the game. He hit a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning, and he tipped his cap to Twins center fielder Jake Cave, who made a diving catch.
Matthew Martell is a reporter for MLB.com.