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White's two-run homer helps Twins to win vs. Devil Rays

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Boof Bonser made his first start in his hometown something special.

Bonser allowed one run in 6 1/3 innings and Rondell White hit a go-ahead two-run homer to help Minnesota beat Tampa Bay 2-1 on Monday and retake the AL wild-card lead.

"You never know what's going to happen, of course, coming home, pitching in front of a lot of friends," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I think he's past that stuff. He's been in control of himself pretty good."

Bonser (4-5) allowed five hits and had six strikeouts. There were a number of fans who had Boof signs at the game.

"I wasn't really looking up in the stands because I'm sure I'd picked somebody out and started laughing or something," Bonser said. "It's nice to finally get a chance to pitch in front of the home crowd."

Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon was impressed with Bonser's command of all his pitches.

"He has a nice demeanor on the mound," Maddon said. "A typical Minnesota pitcher, he does not walk people. If you look at them, they're very good at not walking. You have to earn what you get from that group."

Bonser departed after center fielder Torii Hunter made a leaping catch at the wall on Kevin Witt's drive leading off the seventh.

"I lost it for a minute," Hunter said. "I knew it was hit pretty far. I went up and tried to make something happen."

Trailing 1-0 in the seventh, White gave the Twins the lead with a shot to left off Tim Corcoran (4-7).

"I wanted to bounce it," Corcoran said of the home run pitch. "I felt like he was going to be over aggressive and swing at anything like that. I left it up. It looked like a ball off the plate, but that's what he was looking for and he jumped at it."

It was White's first career homer at Tropicana Field, coming in his 61st at-bat. The 12-year veteran has now homered in every major league park he has played in except Mile High Stadium in Denver.

Minnesota, which moved a half-game ahead of Chicago in the AL wild-card race, has won 13 in a row against Tampa Bay dating back to 2004.

Jesse Crain and Dennys Reyes combined for 1 2/3 scoreless innings before Joe Nathan pitched the ninth to pick up his 29th save.

Dioner Navarro hit a solo homer for the Devil Rays, who have the major's worst record since the All-Star break at 16-33. Corcoran, 0-7 in last 10 starts, gave up two runs and five over seven innings.

"It's not discouraging at all," said Corcoran, who has saw his ERA drop to 3.84. "I know it will come around."

Twins catcher Joe Mauer, who entered hitting an AL-leading .348, went 0-for-2 with two walks and had his average drop two points to .346.

Navarro put the Devil Rays ahead 1-0 on his fourth homer of the season in the fifth off Bonser, who has given up 13 homers in his last 58 innings.

The Twins had two on and one out in both the third and fifth, but failed to score. They went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring during the stretch.

Notes

  • Tampa Bay LHP Scott Kazmir (sore left shoulder) expects to resume playing catch on Wednesday. It hasn't been determimed if he pitch again this season.
  • Twins LHP Francisco Liriano (strained left elbow) had a 78-pitch bullpen session. He is scheduled to throw batting practice Wednesday.
  • Minnesota 2B Luis Castillo was back in the lineup after missing the previous four games with a sprained right ankle.
  • The Twins recalled OF Josh Rabe from Triple-A Rochester.
  • Tampa Bay recalled C Shawn Riggans and purchased the contract of RHP Juan Salas from Triple-A Durham. The Devil Rays also plan to reinstate RHP Jae Seo (strained left groin) from the DL to start Tuesday's game.
 
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Boof Bonser reacts after giving up a fifth-inning homer, though the Twins rally for the 2-1 final.  (AP)
Boof Bonser reacts after giving up a fifth-inning homer, though the Twins rally for the 2-1 final. (AP)

Players of the Game
Minnesota

B. Bonser
IP 6.1
H 5
ER 1
BB 0
K 6
Tampa Bay

T. Corcoran
IP 7.0
H 5
ER 2
BB 2
K 5
 

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Minnesota Twins
Luis Castillo, 2B4020002 .296
Nick Punto, 3B3000013 .297
Joe Mauer, C2000200 .346
Michael Cuddyer, RF4000002 .274
Justin Morneau, DH4110020 .318
Torii Hunter, CF4010011 .269
Phil Nevin, 1B4000032 .241
Rondell White, LF2122100 .220
    Lew Ford, LF0000000 .222
Jason Bartlett, SS3000001 .338
Totals302623711 
Batting
2B - Torii Hunter (18, Corcoran), Rondell White (11, Corcoran)
HR - Rondell White (5, Corcoran)
SH - Nick Punto (6)
RBI - Rondell White 2 (30)
2-OUT RBI - Rondell White 2 (16)
SB - Justin Morneau (3, 2nd base off Corcoran/Navarro)
Team LOB - 5
Minnesota Twins
Boof Bonser (W,4-5) 6.1511061 4.83
Jesse Crain (H,6) 1.1100020 3.99
Dennys Reyes (H,11) 0.1000000 0.85
Joe Nathan (S,29) 1000020 1.74
Pitches-Strikes - Boof Bonser 92-68, Jesse Crain 24-17, Dennys Reyes 3-3, Joe Nathan 12-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Boof Bonser 6-7, Jesse Crain 2-0
Batters Faced - Boof Bonser 24, Jesse Crain 5, Dennys Reyes 1, Joe Nathan 3
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Rocco Baldelli, CF4020020 .303
Delmon Young, RF4000023 .370
Carl Crawford, LF4000011 .305
Greg Norton, 1B4010010 .302
Ty Wigginton, 3B4000022 .267
Kevin Witt, DH4000010 .179
Dioner Navarro, C3121000 .271
Ben Zobrist, SS3010011 .237
Tomas Perez, 2B3000002 .209
Totals331610109 
Batting
2B - Rocco Baldelli (19, Bonser)
HR - Dioner Navarro (6, Bonser)
RBI - Dioner Navarro (25)
SB - Ben Zobrist (2, 2nd base off Crain/Mauer)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Zobrist-T. Perez-Norton, Norton-Zobrist-Corcoran, Wigginton-Norton
E - Ben Zobrist (5, )
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Tim Corcoran (L,4-7) 7522251 3.84
Jon Switzer 0.1100100 5.47
Shawn Camp 1.2000020 4.07
IBB - Mauer by Jon Switzer
Pitches-Strikes - Tim Corcoran 94-57, Jon Switzer 8-4, Shawn Camp 15-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tim Corcoran 6-9, Jon Switzer 1-0, Shawn Camp 2-0
Batters Faced - Tim Corcoran 27, Jon Switzer 3, Shawn Camp 4
Game Information
Attendance - 15910
Game Time - 2:30
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Tim Tschida, First Base - Gary Cederstrom, Second Base - Laz Diaz, Third Base - Rick Reed