Already limited in the infield with Brian Dozier still recovering from a back problem that kept him out of Friday's series opener and Saturday's starting lineup, Minnesota lost Trevor Plouffe to what the club called a left oblique strain in the third inning.
Plouffe injured himself attempting to make a diving stop on a single by Ian Kinsler. Gardenhire came out to check on his third baseman, but he remained in the game, despite showing signs of pain.
The next batter, Torii Hunter, also hit one to the left side of the infield. Plouffe made the inning-ending play but winced while coming off the field and was eventually replaced in the fourth.
"We don't know what it exactly is," Gardenhire said of Plouffe, who underwent an MRI and X-ray. "Something's wrong."
Plouffe was replaced by Eduardo Nunez, who pulled his right hamstring in the eighth inning while beating out an infield single. Nunez remained in the game to run and eventually scored before being lifted. Dozier entered at second base, and starting second baseman Eduardo Escobar shifted over to third.
"Those two spots [Plouffe and Nunez] we're going to fill, one way or another, it looks like to me," Gardenhire said.
Matt Slovin is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.