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The Minnesota Twins head into the weekend riding high after taking consecutive series from Cleveland and Boston but could be shorthanded Friday night when they open a three-game set with the Texas Rangers at Target Field.
Eduardo Escobar left in the fourth inning of Minnesota’s 9-2 loss to the Red Sox Thursday after he took a Rick Porcello fastball to the right elbow.
The AL leader with 32 doubles this season [url=http://www.authenticsmiamidolphins.com/cheap-kalen-ballage-jersey]Kalen Ballage Color Rush Jersey[/url] , Escobar has been red-hot this month, batting .386 with an .800 slugging percentage in 70 June at-bats.
Manager Paul Molitor said Escobar would be re-evaluated Friday.
“He’s sore and swollen,” Molitor said. “I think it got the bottom of the triceps more than on the elbow. We tried to see if he was able to continue, and he gave it a go, but you could tell he was having trouble swinging in that second at-bat.”
Eddie Rosario was scratched prior to the game Thursday with soreness in his right shoulder. He leads the team with 16 homers this season and has been having a good month as well, batting .357 with a .757 slugging percentage.
Rosario said he’d be back in the lineup against Texas and Molitor admitted resting the 26-year-old was a precautionary move.
“I just think we’re trying to keep the big picture in mind,” Molitor said. “So, we’re gonna back him off. It’s just one of those things where you think what you’re doing is best for the player for the long term.”
The Twins are already without second baseman Miguel Sano, who was optioned to Class A Fort Meyers to work on hitting the slider, and center fielder Byron Buxton, whose fractured toe has shown improvement but not enough to return from a minor league rehab assignment.
Missing all that firepower will leave right-hander Fernando Romero a much smaller margin for error as he takes the mound for his 10th career start.
Romero has cooled off since going 2-0 with a 1.66 ERA through his first four big league outings [url=http://www.authenticsmiamidolphins.com/cheap-durham-smythe-jersey]Durham Smythe Color Rush Jersey[/url] , going 1-2 with a 6.46 ERA over his last five. That number is somewhat skewed by an eight-run disaster at Kansas City back on May 30, but Romero’s strikeout rate has plummeted from 9.11 per nine innings to 5.95 over his last four starts.
“Gosh, there’s still a lot to like,” Molitor said. “The way that he’s been able to get the ball on the ground pretty consistently, especially the way he can get in on righties.”
In his first start against Texas, Romero will face a Rangers’ lineup that is feeling good after sweeping the Royals earlier in the week and has won five in a row overall.
Rougned Odor has been a catalyst for the Rangers’ recent success. He was hitting .169 exactly one month ago but has batted .267 with a .761 OPS in the 26 games since to raise his average to .226.
“I believe he’s progressively gotten better,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. “He’s showed progress where we need him to show progress. Odor has been a significant player on this team and will continue to be a significant player.”
Left-hander Mike Minor gets the start for Texas.
He held the Rockies to two runs over seven innings in his last outing, giving him a second consecutive quality start for the first time since earning six in a row for the Braves back during the 2014 season.
Friday will mark Minor’s first career start against the Twins.
San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster was suspended Tuesday without pay for the first two games of the regular season for violating the NFL’s conduct and substance-abuse policy.
The NFL said Foster will also be fined for violations from a weapons offense and misdemeanor drug charge that were resolved earlier this offseason.
Foster will miss San Francisco’s games against Minnesota and Detroit before being allowed to return on Sept. 17 before the Niners play Kansas City.
”I accept the League’s decision and am sorry that my mistakes have hurt my team,” Foster said in a statement. ”I have a responsibility to the 49ers, our fans and our community, and I am committed to learning from this situation and making better choices in the future. The support I have received over the last five months has been humbling [url=http://www.authenticsmiamidolphins.com/cheap-jason-sanders-jersey]Jason Sanders Color Rush Jersey[/url] , and I do not take it for granted.”
Foster was charged in January in Alabama with second-degree marijuana possession. That charge was eventually dismissed after he completed a first-time offender diversion course.
Foster then faced more serious charges for an incident in California in February. He was initially charged in April with felonies for domestic violence, making criminal threats and weapons possession after being accused of beating up his ex-girlfriend.
A judge ruled there was no probable cause on the first two charges after the ex-girlfriend recanted the allegations and the judge found no other evidence to support the charges. The weapons charge was reduced to a misdemeanor and Foster pleaded no-contest to that in June.
He was sentenced to two years’ probation, 232 hours of community service, and $235 in fines. He will not be allowed to own guns while he’s on probation.
The 49ers initially told Foster to stay away from the offseason program after the felony charges were filed in the domestic violence case before welcoming him back after that was resolved in May.
”Our organization understands and supports the League’s decision,” general manager John Lynch said. ”Although we are disappointed that Reuben will not be with our team for the first two games of the season, we will continue to work with him on making better decisions and eliminating unnecessary distractions. We are encouraged to see Reuben take responsibility for his mistakes, and hopeful that he has learned from them as well.”
The 49ers drafted Foster 31st overall last year after questions about his health and character caused him to drop from being a possible top 10 pick.
Foster delivered on the field, ranking second on the team with 72 tackles in 10 games as a rookie and looking like a key part of San Francisco’s defensive future.
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