MINNEAPOLIS -- It seems that left field is a spot prone to injuries for the Twins this season.
In Thursday night's game against the Indians, left fielder Lew Ford strained his right external oblique muscle during a fifth inning at-bat, forcing him to exit the game. Following the Twins' 6-4 loss to the Indians, Minnesota placed Ford on the 15-day disabled list and selected the contract of outfielder Jason Tyner from Triple-A Rochester.
"I kind of tweaked it on an earlier swing," Ford said of the injury. "On the last one, it was painful."
It wasn't the first sign of injury problems for the Twins in left field, as Ford had gotten the start in left after Jason Kubel was scratched from the lineup due to soreness in both knees. Kubel has had issues with soreness in his surgically repaired left knee all season, but in the past month he has been having problems with his right knee, as well.
Doctors examined Kubel prior to the game and deemed that the soreness is just a lingering result from the injury. Kubel was able to make a pinch-hit appearance in the ninth inning, but Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said that a pinch-runner would have been used if Kubel had reached base.
"They tell me this is a normal thing for him, that he's going to have soreness in these legs," Gardenhire said of Kubel. "Structurally, his legs are sound, so he's going to have to play through some of this soreness."
The club is hoping Kubel will be ready to start in left field for Friday's game.
"Hitting is not the issue here, it's running around in the outfield and out on the bases," Gardenhire said. "Hopefully he's ready to go."
The Twins were already limited at the position prior to Ford's injury, as Shannon Stewart is still dealing with a sore left foot that caused him to miss 33 games already this year. While Stewart has been playing as the designated hitter for the club, Gardenhire is hesitant to use him in the outfield at the Metrodome, with the wear that the Fieldturf can take on injuries.
The addition of Tyner should give the Twins more depth in left field. Tyner has batted .329 with 14 doubles, five triples and 22 RBIs in 80 games for the Red Wings this season. He is expected to be in uniform for Friday night's game against Cleveland.
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.