ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- All the losing hasn't infected the Twins' game preparation, Ron Gardenhire said Wednesday, so he's not likely to start throwing equipment or calling an angry team meeting. The players aren't enjoying this skid any more than their fans are.
"You can kind of beat guys down all you want to, but that doesn't work," the Twins' manager said before Kevin Correia tries to turn around his team's nine-losses-in-10-games skid. "We've got a bunch of kids in this lineup with not a lot of experience at going through rough things. You've just got to keep patting them on the back and being as positive as you possibly can. Just make sure they're doing all their work, and these guys are working very hard."
Still, it's time to shuffle the lineup a bit, just to shake things up, though Gardenhire doesn't have a lot of depth to work with. With a noon game tomorrow, he's using both of his utility infielders and his fourth outfielder tonight against Rays' righthander Jeremy Hellickson (8-3, 4.67 ERA). Safe to say, the Twins desperately need a good game from Correia (6-6, 4.19), who Gardenhire said "got away from pitching to both sides of the plate a little bit" during his last start in Toronto.
Michael Tonkin hasn't arrived in Florida yet, but will shortly. Since he's not on the roster yet, he's not allowed in the dugout during the game, so the righthander will join the team at its hotel tonight, then be in uniform tomorrow.