HOUSTON -- Center fielder Byron Buxton was removed from the sixth inning of the Twins' 10-5 loss on Friday with soreness in his left groin, and first baseman Kennys Vargas was subbed out with a contusion in his left foot in the seventh.Buxton is listed as day to day; X-rays
HOUSTON -- Center fielder Byron Buxton was removed from the sixth inning of the Twins' 10-5 loss on Friday with soreness in his left groin, and first baseman Kennys Vargas was subbed out with a contusion in his left foot in the seventh.
Buxton is listed as day to day; X-rays taken of Vargas' foot were expected to return negative.
After drawing a walk in the fourth, Buxton scored from first base on a double by second baseman James Dozier. Two innings later, Buxton smacked a double and eventually moved to third before the inning ended with Robbie Grossman flying out to right field. Including Friday, Buxton is 12-for-31 in July, with seven strikeouts and two RBIs.
"I didn't realize, when he scored from first on Dozier's double, he had a slight groin strain," manager Paul Molitor said. "He wanted to stay in the game. But when I became aware of it after the double, we got him out of there just to make sure it didn't get any worse, because I know he wouldn't slow himself down."
Vargas said he injured his foot during batting practice two weeks ago while with Triple-A Rochester; the lingering pain became more notable in the third inning while he was running from the dugout to first base. Vargas was recalled when first baseman Joe Mauer hit the 10-day disabled list on July 7.
"When I was down in Rochester about two weeks ago, I fouled a ball during BP on my foot again," Vargas said. "It just got to the point today to where I couldn't bear the pain anymore."
"For whatever reason tonight, it started getting progressively worse," Molitor said.
Vargas isn't worried that the foot is broken and says he could play if needed.
"I can play. I can play with pain," Vargas said. "[Molitor] asked me if it was bothering me, if it was hurt, and I told him, 'Yeah, it hurts.' So I didn't come out of the game because I wanted to. He pulled me out because he was concerned about the pain."
With Mauer swinging a bat on Friday for the first time during his DL stint, Molitor said he had thoughts about giving him a few more days to continue swinging instead of returning on Saturday, the first day he is eligible to do so -- even though prior to Friday's game, the plan was for a Saturday return.
Vargas' injury may change things yet again.
"I've had thoughts about whether [Mauer] would play Saturday and Sunday, to be honest with you," Molitor said. "So I had some thoughts about holding off and giving him two days of swinging before he got into the game. But with Kennys' situation, that might change. We're going to wait until we get some feedback on his condition and make a decision on that."
Christian Boutwell is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston and covered the Twins on Friday.