In his third game back after a 39-game absence to a strained right hip, Twins outfielder Byron Buxton was hit on the left hand by a pitch from Cincinnati’s Tyler Mahle on Monday night and broke a bone in his pinkie finger. The timetable for his return has not yet been set, as the Twins were still determining a treatment plan and whether surgery would help, but a month or so of recovery time appears likely.
Buxton has what is referred to as a boxer’s fracture, which is fitting because he has for much of his career found himself sparring with the injury bug.
“He’s beyond upset, and that’s what I would expect from him,” manager Rocco Baldelli said before the game on Tuesday. “This is not something that’s easily described or talked about for anyone. I think the number of traumas, physically, that he’s had to deal with — and because of that, emotionally, when you have to deal with that many types of difficult things — it’s hard on you.”
Baldelli had to hold back a restless Buxton last week as his hip rehabilitation wound down, and the 27-year-old was discouraged by the wait for clearance.
“It’s a little bit tougher for him to let me go. It’s hard. You know, we let Rocco kind of stick to the managing thing and we just try to get on his nerves to let us play,” Buxton said on Saturday after his return to the lineup. “It’s just one of those things where you want him to tell you no, rather than you feeling like you’re not giving it your all.”
Currently third among outfielders in the American League All-Star voting, Buxton is batting .369 with 11 doubles, 10 home runs and 19 RBIs in 27 games with a 1.176 OPS. Throw in the Gold Glove defense, and those are MVP award-caliber numbers if they could ever calibrate to a full season. However, Buxton has only managed 60 percent of a full season’s games once, in 2017.
Indians expect MLB wins leader Civale to be out with injury
Cleveland Indians righthander Aaron Civale appears headed to the injured list because of soreness in the middle finger on his pitching hand, another major hit for a banged-up staff.
The major league leader with 10 wins, Civale left in the fifth inning of Monday night’s win over the Chicago Cubs.
The pitcher is scheduled to be examined by hand specialist Dr. Thomas Graham on Wednesday.
“My guess is we will need to make a roster move,” manager Terry Francona said Tuesday. “Because of tomorrow’s day off, we can let him get looked at first. But I think we’re prepared that he’s going to miss some time.”
Civale had a 3-2 count on Eric Sogard with two out when he was visited by Francona and a trainer. The trainer examined Civale’s right hand before the pitcher was removed.
“He’s pretty sore,” Francona said. “He says he feels like he jammed it, which obviously he didn’t. But that’s the feeling. That’s what he said it feels like.”
The loss of Civale would be a big blow for Cleveland, which is playing without ace Shane Bieber and righthander Zach Plesac due to injuries. Civale is 10-2 with a 3.32 ERA in 15 starts.
Votto serves one-game suspension for ump outburst
Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto served a one-game suspension from Major League Baseball on Tuesday, three days after he was ejected for arguing with an umpire.
Votto was already slated to rest in the finale of a two-game series at Minnesota, an afternoon start following a 12-inning contest on Monday night that was MLB’s longest game of the season at 5:16. Shortly before first pitch, the Reds announced Votto was serving his punishment.
Votto and Reds manager David Bell were tossed in the first inning on Saturday at San Diego after a heated spat with home plate umpire Ryan Additon after Votto was called out on a checked swing. Padres catcher Webster Rivas appealed after Votto offered at a high, outside pitch, and third base umpire Chris Guccione confirmed that Votto went around.
Bell and coaches Delino DeShields and Freddie Benavides had to keep Votto away from Additon, who then ejected the player and the manager. Crew chief Jim Reynolds said after the game that Votto was booted because he “just lost control.”
Naquin’s three-run homer in 9th gives Reds win over Twins
Tyler Naquin went 4 for 4 with a three-run homer that broke a ninth-inning tie right after the ragged Cincinnati bullpen lost a five-run lead, and the Reds beat the Twins 10-7 to stop their five-game losing streak ... Zack Greinke took a four-hitter into the eighth inning, Myles Straw homered and drove in two runs, and the Houston Astros beat the Baltimore Orioles 3-1 for their ninth straight victory. Greinke (8-2) allowed one run and five hits with four strikeouts and a walk over 7 1/3 innings. Facing the Orioles for the first time since 2010, the 37-year-old righty permitted only one runner past second base in lowering his ERA to 3.56 ... Cavan Biggio and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. doubled on consecutive pitches to break a ninth-inning tie, and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Miami Marlins 2-1.