Nunez gets breather a day after hit-by-pitch
Escobar in lineup after shortstop was plunked in right hand
MINNEAPOLIS -- Eduardo Nunez was held out of the Twins' lineup for precautionary reasons on Saturday after being hit by a pitch on his right hand in Friday's 7-2 win over the Cubs. Eduardo Escobar was in his place at shortstop.
Nunez was hit on his hand while batting in the first inning against Cubs right-hander Kyle Hendricks, but it was ruled a strike, as he was swinging at the pitch. He ended up remaining in the game, going 1-for-4 with a double.
Twins manager Paul Molitor said Nunez was able to play Saturday, but it made sense to give him a day to rest his hand, especially after the utility infielder made four straight starts at shortstop because he's been swinging a hot bat. Nunez is hitting .306/.338/.514 in 25 games, and 12 of his 22 hits have gone for extra bases this year.
"He's available, but he's a little sore today," Molitor said. "He took a pretty good shot there. I'm not sure how many days in a row he played out there, but I'd like to get him back in. But I also know he's not a guy who is accustomed to playing every day. So to get him on the bench, it just seemed like a good day to get Escobar back in there at short."
• Right-hander Ervin Santana is scheduled to make his first rehab start with Triple-A Rochester on Saturday night. Santana, who is eligible to return from his 80-game suspension on July 4, previously started in extended spring training games. He's expected to throw about 90 pitches for the Red Wings.
• Right-hander Ricky Nolasco was fitted for orthotics to help alleviate the discomfort in his right ankle, and he is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Wednesday to test it out. Nolasco, on the DL since June 4 with a right ankle impingement, tried to throw a bullpen session on Sunday, but he was forced to cut it short. The Twins are hopeful the orthotics will help and that Nolasco will be able to avoid surgery.
• Shortstop Danny Santana has been hitting well since being optioned to Triple-A Rochester on June 7. He went 3-for-4 with a walk on Friday, and he is hitting .363/.413/.512 with four walks, seven strikeouts and two stolen bases in 10 games.
"He's hitting .360 or something, so the at-bats have been good and he's been taking some walks," Molitor said. "His demeanor has been a real positive attribute from what I've heard about how he's going about his job. He seems to be pretty relaxed about how he's playing."
• The Twins are hosting their annual open tryout on Sunday morning at Siebert Field on the campus of the University of Minnesota. The event starts at 8:30 a.m. CT, with registration at 8 a.m. Players must be at least 18 years old to try out. Four players have made the Majors after an open tryout with the Twins -- pitchers Charley Walters (1966), Gary Serum ('75) and Mark Hamburger (2011), and shortstop Jerry Terrell ('68).