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It was enough to make you scream - and Torii did

  • Article by: La Velle E. Neal III
  • Star Tribune
  • June 4, 2007 - 10:53 PM

OAKLAND - Twins manager Ron Gardenhire's postgame monologue Sunday after a 4-2 loss to the Athletics included interruptions by Torii Hunter.

Get in monologue mode ... now.

Gardenhire: "We had their young guy on the ropes a few times and ..."

Hunter (from another part of the clubhouse): "Aargh!"

Gardenhire: "... if we just worked a little bit better, I think we could have put a few runs on the board. We also chased pretty bad and ..."

Hunter: "Aargh!"

Gardenhire (pausing): "... not a good game for us ..."

Hunter: "Aargh! You're kidding me!!"

Gardenhire (after another pause): "Very nice Torii. ... So a disappointing day for us."

Hunter: "Aaaargh!!"

Gardenhire: "... so we ..."

Hunter: "AAAAARGH!!"

Gardenhire (giving up): "That pretty much describes it right there. That's how we feel."

The Twins left Oakland upset that they didn't take advantage of A's starter Chad Gaudin, but Hunter actually feigned his screaming fit to speed up the "turn the page," portion of postgame after the Twins' streak of winning series ended at four.

"I was just joking, trying to make the guys laugh," Hunter said. "Just screaming, acting a fool."

It would be understandable if Hunter had been serious. The Twins were 1-11 with runners in scoring position Sunday. The middle of the order -- Michael Cuddyer, Justin Morneau and Hunter -- were 1-12 in the game and 4-for-43 in the series.

Jason Kubel's homer in the sixth was the Twins' first in 37 innings and 178 plate appearances. The Twins worked Gaudin (6-1) for five walks and forced him to throw 94 pitches in five innings but showed little for it.

"I thought we stayed to our game plan, made him throw a lot of pitches," Cuddyer said. "We had guys in scoring position quite a few times. When we did hit the ball we hit it right at guys. And there were times we didn't hit the ball when we needed to."

Twins lefthander Johan Santana (6-5), who needed a few innings to figure out umpire Mike Muchlinski's strike zone, gave up four runs (three earned) over six innings.

Santana was shaky in the first inning, one that included an RBI single by Nick Swisher, two walks and a wild pitch. Santana needed a high-quality double play by Jason Bartlett and Luis Castillo to get out of the inning.

But Bartlett made a wild throw to second on a force attempt that would have ended the third inning with just one run scored. Instead, two runs scored on the play, which was enough for Oakland.

It's not the way to head into a series this week against AL West-leading Los Angeles.

"We were on a roll," Cuddyer said. "To drop this series is tough, but we have to rebound."

La Velle E. Neal III • lneal@startribune.com

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