OAKLAND -- The Twins received a major blow to their offense on Tuesday, as right fielder Miguel Sano was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring. The Twins called up top outfield prospect Max Kepler for a second time this season to take Sano's spot on
OAKLAND -- The Twins received a major blow to their offense on Tuesday, as right fielder Miguel Sano was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring. The Twins called up top outfield prospect Max Kepler for a second time this season to take Sano's spot on the roster.
Sano, who had homered four times over his previous six games, suffered the injury in the third inning against the A's while beating out a potential double-play ball with the bases loaded. With one out, Sano hit a hard grounder to third baseman Danny Valencia, who tried to turn a double play. Sano hustled down the line and beat it out, scoring Eduardo Nunez from third to give the Twins a 2-1 lead in their eventual 7-4 loss to the A's. But Sano said he felt the hamstring strain one step before reaching the bag, and it's the first time he's dealt with the injury.
"I was trying to hustle for the team," Sano said. "It's tough because I want to help the team and I can't do that when I'm out. It's frustrating. I was hitting the ball well."
Sano came up limping after reaching first base and was looked at by trainer Dave Pruemer before leaving the game. Oswaldo Arcia replaced him as a pinch-runner and took over in right field. Sano, 23, was hitting .235/.341/.458 with a team-leading 11 homers and 27 RBIs in 50 games.
It's the second hamstring injury in as many days for the Twins, as center fielder Danny Santana was placed on the 15-day DL with a left hamstring strain on Monday.
"It's disappointing," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "It's certainly tough. Injuries, you have to deal with them along the way. They get bunched up once in a while. You have to make due and when you call up people they get an opportunity, and hopefully they perform."
Kepler hit .282/.367/.455 with a homer, four doubles, six triples and 19 RBIs in 30 games with Triple-A Rochester. Kepler, ranked as the No. 39 overall prospect by MLBPipeline.com, also saw limited action in nine games with the Twins early this season, hitting .167 with two walks and two doubles. But he's expected to get regular playing time in the Majors for the first time in his career in Sano's absence.
Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, **Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter [@RhettBollinger](https://twitter.com/RhettBollinger)** and listen to his podcast.