MINNEAPOLIS -- The Angels' bullpen blew a lead for the second straight day on Thursday -- and may have lost its best reliever in the process.
Lefty Scott Downs got his right ankle stepped on by Twins center fielder Denard Span while covering first base in the eventual 10-9 loss, and now may be headed for the disabled list.
A postgame X-ray revealed no structural damage on the ankle, but Downs was walking on crutches and nursing plenty of soreness. The 36-year-old won't know what his immediate future holds until undergoing an MRI in New York. If he does land on the DL, Trevor Bell -- a right-hander who's on the 40-man roster -- could be called up to take his place.
"It's just one of those freak things that happens; one of those bang-bang plays," Downs said. "We'll see where we go for tomorrow."
Downs entered with runners on second and third, one out and the Angels leading, 6-4, and gave up a sacrifice fly to Luke Hughes to make it a one-run game.
The next batter, Span, hit a dribbler to first base. Albert Pujols ranged to his right, barehanded it and flipped to Downs, who got to the bag in time and made the play, but lost control of the ball after Span's foot made contact with his ankle.
Downs rolled over in pain but gingerly walked out of the game on his own power, with athletic trainer Rick Smith by his side. Rich Thompson then finished the inning, but surrendered four runs -- and the lead -- in the eighth.
"It's pretty sore," Downs said. "This shoe will be coming off pretty fast, I can tell you that. We'll just have to play it by ear tomorrow and go from there."