Sano will start at first base and bat sixth Wednesday against the White Sox. With Alex Kirilloff landing on the injured list Wednesday and set to undergo surgery to repair a torn ligament in his wrist later this week, Sano appears set to take back an everyday role at first base. As usual, Sano has been a strong source of power (15 home runs) this season, but a 36.8 percent strikeout rate has limited him to a .197 average.
Sano is out of the lineup for Sunday's game against the Tigers. Sano will remain on the bench for the third time in four games, and he looks like he won't be in store for an everyday role with the Twins having returned multiple key players from the injured list in recent weeks. Alex Kirilloff, Nelson Cruz and Josh Donaldson are all ahead of Sano in the pecking order at first base, designated hitter and third base, respectively.
Sano went 1-for-4 with a solo home run in a 5-3 win against Detroit on Thursday. Sano's solo shot to right in the seventh off Tigers starter Tarik Skubal knotted the score 3-3, though the first baseman failed to do anything productive in his other three at-bats. The homer was Sano's first in over two weeks, and more than 65 percent of his extra-base hits have left the yard this year.
Sano started at first base and went 0-for-5 with four strikeouts to lower his batting average to .190 with a .698 OPS in Thursday's loss to the White Sox. Sano has moved from the everyday starter at first base to the short side of a platoon as Alex Kirilloff has been starting against right-handed pitchers. Sano hit .163 in April and May with a .675 OPS but picked up the pace slightly by hitting .254 with five home runs and a .787 OPS in June. Still, he's not providing consistent enough production to justify his spot at first base. He does have a career-low .238 BABIP and subpar 25.5 HR/FB%, which are some reasons for optimism. However, it's not clear if the Twins are going to give him the opportunity to play every day or if they view him as an everyday starter any more.
Sano went 1-for-3 with two walks and a run scored in Sunday's 8-2 win over Cleveland. Sano drew multiple walks for the first time since April 15. He reached in the second and scored on an Andrelton Simmons home run before notching a base hit in the third and then walking again in the seventh. The 28-year-old is slashing .196/.281/.437 with 14 homers, 34 RBI, 28 runs scored and a 23:83 BB:K over 224 plate appearances. He continues to strike out at an alarming rate and is on pace for a batting average hovering around .200 for the third time in the last four seasons.
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