MINNEAPOLIS — Sam Dyson has made two pitching appearances for the Twins since being acquired at the trade deadline last week and currently has an 81.00 earned-run average for his new team.
He blew a save in his Twins debut against the Miami Marlins, allowing three earned runs without recording an out, and then struggled against the Kansas City Royals, allowing three more earned runs in two-thirds of an inning.
Apparently there’s a reason for the struggles.
After being put on the 10-day injured list Sunday with what was diagnosed as right biceps tendinitis, Dyson spoke to reporters and said he’s been dealing with the issue since the second series after the all-star break.
“My shoulder started bugging me and I just kept throwing through it and throwing through it,” he said. “I had contacted (general manager) Thad (Levine) and let him know the other day. I was like, ‘We can medicate it short term or try to give it a break.’
“It was up to him. Whatever he wanted to do, I was in for either one. He was like, ‘It’s probably better off to give it a break.’ And (manager) Rocco (Baldelli) was on the same page, so that’s where we’re at.”
While he wouldn’t go as far as using it as an excuse, emphasizing that at this point in the season every pitcher is dealing with something, Dyson made it clear that his injury affected his pitching.
“You could feel it when you were picking a plate up in the kitchen or putting your clothes on,” Dyson said. “It wasn’t the best.”
Dyson says he is taking a couple of days off, then will start doing some shoulder work with hopes of playing catch by the end of the week.
“Maybe throw a bullpen a couple of days after and then go from there,” Dyson said. “I was just grinding through it the whole time, and I didn’t want to put these guys in a bad spot because they’re in first place.”
Sano was ready to go
Miguel Sano’s swing late Monday night didn’t just come out of nowhere.
The Twins’ powerful third baseman had actually been working in the batting cage with assistant hitting coach Rudy Hernandez throughout the game waiting for his moment.
Sano took advantage of his opportunity, stepping to the plate as a pinch hitter in the bottom of the ninth inning, and blasting a walk-off home run to dead center field to help the Twins earn a dramatic 5-3 win over the Braves.
“When the game got tied, I told Rudy, if nobody does anything, I’m going to take care of it,” Sano said. “When I went out and hit, I was just thinking, one swing, and come back to the dugout.”
That’s exactly what he did, pummeling the pitch from reliever Chris Martin, and sending the announced crowd of 26,722 into a frenzy.
“I was right on the railing and I was the first one over,” said Twins relief pitcher Trevor May. “I’m proud (Sano). We could talk all day about where he’s come this season. Just coming up in big spots like that. He knew exactly what he needed to do to win the game there. He got his pitch, and put a nice easy swing on it.”
Sano immediately looked at the dugout after hitting the home run and slowly rounded the bases before being mobbed by his teammates at home plate.
“There are different ways to look at these things,” manager Rocco Baldelli said of his late game decision to insert Sano. “I think it made sense to send a guy up there that has a chance to really impact the ball and maybe do something like he did.”