MILWAUKEE (AP) — Delmon Young and the Minnesota Twins were eager to compete for another AL Central crown. Instead, they’ve been forced to see everyone else pass them by.
Young became the latest Twins player on the 15-day disabled list in an injury-wrecked season after injuring his right ankle and being taken off in a stretcher during Minnesota’s 11-1 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday night.
“We’re all looking forward to defending our Central Division championship and it’s really hard to do when everyone is watching the games right now,” Young said.
The tumbling Twins have dropped four straight and have had 13 players miss a combined 365 games due to injuries following Saturday’s game.
Minnesota is fourth in the AL Central, 11 games under .500, and learned Friday that Justin Morneau will miss six more weeks because he needs neck surgery.
Young left after misplaying Yuniesky Betancourt’s inside-the-park home run in the fifth, one of four homers by the Brewers. He caught his right foot in the base of the wall and later put no weight on the leg as he was helped onto a stretcher.
Young will have an MRI in Minnesota on Monday.
“Hopefully the MRI shows there is no ligament damage or anything. It’s not as bad as the sprain I had in ’03 before the draft, but it’s the same foot,” said Young, who was on crutches in the clubhouse. “I couldn’t really feel my foot.”
The Twins are concerned with the latest setback after already dealing with trips to the disabled list this season for most of their core players, including Joe Mauer, Jim Thome, Francisco Liriano, Joe Nathan, Jason Kubel and Denard Span.
“I don’t know what it is this year, but it happens. None of us want to get hurt,” Young said. “It’s boring on the DL. It’s boring rehabbing.”
Liriano (4-7) allowed a two-run homer to former teammate Carlos Gomez to highlight a five-run third and Prince Fielder’s 21st blast of the season, a two-run shot, capped the sixth.
Liriano had been sharp recently, but this performance looked more like his 1-4 start to the season. The Twins’ defense didn’t help him much after Minnesota took an early 1-0 lead. In the third, the Twins committed two errors after Gomez homered to make it 2-1 as Liriano labored through a 43-pitch inning.
Gomez flipped his bat emphatically on his big hit after being mired in a 3 for 32 slump and limited to playing against lefties.
“I don’t think it was the right pitch to throw to Gomez. He’s pulling everything,” Liriano said. “I struggled with all my pitches. The slider, the changeup, the fastball. I couldn’t throw any of my pitches. Tough night for me and one of those days you can’t control yourself.”
Rickie Weeks followed with a single, reaching second on Danny Valencia’s errant throw from third. Corey Hart walked and Ryan Braun singled to extend his career-best hitting streak to 16 games. Ben Revere misplayed the ball in center, allowing Weeks and Hart to score and Braun to reach second. Casey McGehee’s single gave Milwaukee a 5-1 lead and the Brewers rolled from there with Yovani Gallardo (9-4) pitching seven sharp innings.
“We had one bad inning early. We missed a couple of plays and they banged it around all over the place,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “Big blow was Gomez. … It just kind of snowballed from there.”
Notes: The Twins recalled OF Rene Tosoni from Triple-A Rochester one day after sending him down. He had only been in Rochester a few hours before getting word he was coming back. … Thome (left quadriceps) pinch hit in the sixth and struck out after coming off the DL earlier in the day. … The Twins held a short team meeting before the game after reliever Jose Mijares blamed Mauer for his pitch selection to Fielder the night before. Fielder drove in the go-ahead runs. Gardenhire said Mijares shouldn’t have called out Mauer after the game. … Mauer snapped a streak of 10 at-bats without a hit with a single in the third.
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