Twins remove Byron Buxton from wild-card game with back tightness

Minnesota Twins' Byron Buxton watches his ground ball on which a runner was forced and a run scored during the third inning of the American League wild-card baseball game against the New York Yankees. (Frank Franklin II/AP)

NEW YORK — Minnesota Twins speedster Byron Buxton has been replaced in centre field during the fourth inning of the AL wild-card game against the New York Yankees because of tightness in his back.

Zack Granite entered for Buxton to begin the bottom of the inning.

Buxton grimaced in pain after crashing into the fence on a highlight-reel catch in the second. He tracked Todd Frazier’s deep fly ball and made a leaping grab, slamming back-first into the wall before tumbling to the ground. He stayed on his back momentarily before getting up and staying in the game.

Buxton drove in a run with a groundout in the third, running hard to beat out a potential double play. He later stole second base.

Buxton, the No. 2 pick in the 2012 amateur draft, is a Gold Glove Award contender and one of the game’s best baserunners. He had a strong second half at the plate and batted .253 with 16 homers and 51 RBIs overall.

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