Baker leaves game with groin strain
Starter had notched one out in fifth inning when he departed
ARLINGTON -- Twins starter Scott Baker left Saturday night's game against the Rangers in the fifth inning with a mild groin strain, but he's not expected to miss a start due to the injury.Baker left the game with the bases loaded and one out. The pitcher said he injured himself earlier in the inning when throwing a breaking pitch to the second batter he faced, Michael Young. "I slipped on the surface and just kind of tweaked it a little bit," Baker said. He continued to pitch as the problem was not getting worse, but told pitching coach Rick Anderson about the problem when he visited the mound with runners on first and second. Baker then gave up a single to Milton Bradley to load the bases, and that's when he received a visit from manager Ron Gardenhire and trainer Rick McWane. After a brief discussion, Baker walked off the mound with McWane and was replaced by Matt Guerrier. "I felt like I made a decent pitch," Baker said. "But I gave up a hit, and there was no reason to push it from there." With three off days coming over the next nine days, the Twins have room to push Baker's next start back. The club is currently going with just a four-man rotation, but Gardenhire said that instead of having Baker start on Friday as expected, he'll be moved back a day to Saturday, giving him a full week before pitching again. "I think he'll make his next start," Gardenhire said. "Fortunately, with the days off, we're able to do those things.
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.