Joe Ryan struck by comebacker, departs early as Twins fall to Cleveland

Sep. 14—Joe Ryan didn’t even wait until manager Rocco Baldelli and head trainer Michael Salazar made it to the mound. There was nothing to discuss — he was coming out of the game.

Seconds after being struck flush on the right hand/wrist area by a Myles Straw batted ball, Ryan took himself out of the game, walking straight off the mound. As he reached the first-base dugout, the rookie slammed his glove down in frustration with his left hand. He threw his hat down next before disappearing into the tunnel that leads to the Twins’ clubhouse.

The injury came during the middle of what was another impressive start from the rookie, who had thrown five innings of one-run ball before being forced out of a game the Twins would wind up losing 3-1 to Cleveland on Tuesday afternoon at Target Field. It was the first game of a doubleheader with the second game set for 6:40 p.m.

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Before the injury, Ryan had given up just three hits — one a solo home run to Bradley Zimmer, which tied the game in the fifth inning — against Cleveland, a team he threw seven scoreless frames against last week. Cleveland would go on to score two runs off reliever Danny Coulombe — one earned, one unearned — to secure the win.

Of far greater concern to the Twins is the health of Ryan, one of their top pitching prospects.

Acquired ahead of the trade deadline as part of the return for Nelson Cruz, Ryan made strong early impressions, and getting a chance to look at him for the last month of the season is important for a team that will need to rebuild its rotation this offseason.

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The Twins’ offense scored just once off Cleveland starter Triston McKenzie, when Andrelton Simmons brought home Ben Rortvedt with a double in the third inning. On the play, Cleveland left fielder Harold Ramirez dove for the ball, missed it and slipped while trying to get back up as it moved past him.

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