Buxton strikes twice and returns to outfield as part of Saints’ rehab – Twin Cities


After Tuesday’s 2-on-3 performance – which included a triple – in his rehab mission with the St. Paul Saints, Twins center fielder Byron Buxton said his bat was still “a little off”.

Everything he was looking for he found on Thursday night.

Buxton hit a two-point home run at the bottom of the first and another two-point bomb at the bottom of the second. He was the only bright spot in the Saints’ otherwise dismal performance as they lost 16-9 to the Omaha Storm Chasers at CHS Field.

“There aren’t a lot of people who can do what he’s doing a little out of the way,” Saints manager Toby Gardenhire said. “… He swings the bat well, he made three squared balls.” I thought he had the latter.

Buxton nearly hit his third home run in as many batting in the bottom of the fourth, resulting in a ball into deep left center field that was caught on the warning lane just in front of the 402-foot sign. Buxton has always had the merit of a fly sacrifice. It was the last time Buxton saw the plate as he came out for a pinch hitter in the start of the sixth. He finished 2 for 2 with five RBIs.

Recovering from a Grade 2 hip injury that sidelined him since May 6, Buxton also returned to the pitch on Thursday. He looked comfortable there, even registering an assist early in the first run when he sent off a runner trying to move on to the third.

He made several nice catches looking straight into the sun and, in a pivoting fashion, avoided jumping into the center field wall in the fourth inning, instead allowing a ball to fall for a double.

“I was completely happy he got away with it,” Gardenhire said after the game. “We all saw him crash against the walls. We don’t need guys crashing into walls. We need him on the pitch to play games.

Despite his strong offensive performance and Twins outfielder Alex Kiriloff who sprained his ankle in Minnesota’s 7-5 win over the Yankees on Thursday night, Buxton will likely stay in St. Paul for the time being.

Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said earlier this week he would like to see Buxton play at least two games on the pitch before returning, and Gardenhire reiterated that after the game.

“I’ve been wrong before, but I think they’re always going to try to take it slow. I know it’s tough with Kirilloff rolling his ankle and the guy hitting two home runs: “We want him out.” – I don’t know if it’s gonna happen or not. We’ll just have to see, ”he said.

The only other fireworks display for the Saints came from the stick of Keon Broxton, who hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the second, his first homer of the season.

Charlie Shepard struggled on the mound for the Saints, allowing five runs in the first set and five more in the second. He only managed 3 â…” of innings, allowing 11 runs on 14 hits and four walks. In his previous four starts, he’s allowed just seven points combined.


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