Rondell White, the Twins' new cleanup hitter, is experiencing a prolonged
slump. He sunk even further in the past two games against the Yankees, with
strikeouts in four of his last five at-bats.
He was 0-for-4 with three K's in a 9-3 loss to the Yankees on Sunday.
Despite the team's 5-1 start to a nine-game homestand, White's slump has
reached such proportions that otherwise excited and optimistic fans began
booing him by the end of the weekend.
"I've never gone through one like this," said White, who is just 4-for-47
(.085) this season. "It's embarrassing. My job is hitting, and I'm not doing
The Twins still have faith in the veteran, a .289 career hitter. Manager
Ron Gardenhire has no immediate intention of dropping him in the order or
benching him, even if White says, "I'd expect them to move me down in the
order. The way I'm swinging? I'm not swinging like a cleanup hitter right
The Twins have been getting enough production around him to afford the
luxury of sticking with him in the cleanup hole at least through the
Meanwhile, White admits the move from outfielder to exclusive use as a DH
has been a rough adjustment, but refuses to use that as an excuse.
REPLAY: For the second straight start, right-hander Brad Radke (2-1) got
out of the first inning without allowing a run -- an achievement given a
career track record of first-inning struggles -- only to give up a big
second inning. This time it was a three-run inning highlighted by the first
of two homers by Jason Giambi, as the Yankees snapped the Twins' five-game
winning streak with a 9-3 victory over Radke and the Twins.
Giambi's homer in the sixth made the score 6-2, and Robinson Cano and
Alex Rodriguez also added homers in the game. The Yankees scored more runs
Sunday than the Twins had allowed in their three previous games combined
NOTES, QUOTES:OF Ruben Sierra, who remained in Fort Myers, Fla., when spring camp
broke to continue rehabilitation work on his injured quadriceps, has
recovered well enough that the Twins announced after Sunday's game his
contract will be purchased on Tuesday, in time for the series opener against
the Angels. Sierra, 40, was signed over the winter to be the Twins'
pinch-hit specialist. He went 3-for-12 with a double in three games for
Class A Fort Myers before the decision was made.OF Jason Kubel, the rookie who got off to a 3-for-16 (.188) start after
surprisingly breaking camp with the big club, was optioned to Triple-A
Rochester after Sunday's game to make room for Tuesday's roster addition of
OF Ruben Sierra.RHP Brad Radke (2-1) has allowed at least two home runs in each of his
three starts this season, including three in Sunday's loss to the Yankees.
The seven homers hit against him account for eight of the 14 runs he has
allowed this season. Dating to the start of last season, he's 6-11 with a
4.94 ERA when allowing a home run (25 such starts).3B Tony Batista, who hit just .125 in the team's first six games, all
on the road, is hitting .426 (9-for-21) through six games on the current
homestand, with three doubles, a homer and five RBIs.1B Justin Morneau hit a two-out, two-run, game-winning single off RHP
Mariano Rivera in the bottom of the ninth inning Saturday. Morneau is
hitting .348 (8-for-23) with eight RBIs through the first six games of the
Twins' current nine-game homestand.2B Luis Castillo was a late scratch from the lineup Sunday because of
soreness in his left knee caused by sliding into second base during
Saturday's game. He's expected to be ready to play again when the Twins open
a three-game home series against the Angels on Tuesday.