Span out of final game after rough play

Span out of final game after rough play

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins center fielder Denard Span was held out of the starting lineup on the final day of the season after crashing into the center-field wall on Tuesday, but came up with a pinch-hit double in the ninth inning and scored the winning run in the Twins' 1-0 win over the Royals on Wednesday.

Span, who has been dealing with migraines stemming from his concussion suffered on June 3 in a home-plate collision, said before the game that he planned to sit out for precautionary reasons.

But he ended up serving as a pinch-hitter with one out in the ninth inning, and laced a double off reliever Blake Wood before eventually scoring on a walk-off single from Trevor Plouffe that helped the Twins avoid their 100th loss.

"It was a good feeling," Span said. "Before the game started, I said how me coming back and playing the games I had before was the highlight of my season but definitely tonight was. I wasn't expecting to come off the bench, and so to come up and get a big hit like that was very huge for me."

Span played in five games in late September after being shut down for a little more than a month with migraines after he initially returned from his concussion in early August. Span hit .278 (5-for-17) with two triples and two doubles in those five contests, and said it gives him plenty of optimism heading into next year.

"It made my season," Span said. "It meant a lot for me to come back, just to see if I could come back from something of this magnitude. So for me, I couldn't have asked for more."