White has disappointing setback

Twins outfielder Rondell White suffered a setback in his recovery from a strained right calf muscle and could miss another two weeks -- if not more.

White, while shagging fly balls in the outfield before Wednesday's game, felt a pop in the same area of his calf as he began to chase down a fly ball.

White, who tossed his glove in disgust after the setback, had just had two consecutive days of good workouts and was hoping to return to the lineup this weekend against Detroit.

"It's frustrating and embarrassing," White said. "I worked hard during the offseason and I feel like I'm letting my teammates down."

Said manager Ron Gardenhire: "It's not good, let's put it that way."

White's absence has hurt a Twins team that has faced five lefthanded starters in the past seven games, including Kansas City lefthander Odalis Perez on Wednesday.

White is expected to be shut down for a few days before testing the leg again. "I'm not going to try to rush it," he said. "If it's a week, it's a week. If it's a month, it's a month. If it's two months, it's two months."

Sweeney uncorked

Royals designated hitter Mike Sweeney hugged Twins outfielder Torii Hunter behind the batting cage before the game and defended Hunter for unknowingly breaking a rule by sending Sweeney and the Royals four bottles of champagne.

"It was an innocent act done in good fun," Sweeney said. "Torii had no intention of breaking any rules. Torii's one of the most well-respected guys in all of baseball, and what he did was no different than a prank between teams or teammates."

The champagne was returned after it was learned that Hunter broke a rule prohibiting gifts. The Royals swept Detroit at the end of last season, enabling the Twins to win the American League Central Division title, after which Hunter promised to send Kansas City some champagne.

"I remember him saying that last year," Tigers manager Jim Leyland told the Detroit Free Press. "I chuckled about it. I thought it was really neat, to be honest with you. And then I saw the article today, and I actually kind of felt bad for the guy.

"That's another one of the silly little idiotic things we do in baseball. We ought to pay more attention to what goes on in the games. ... I mean, that's a joke. What the hell? Come on."

Twins General Manager Terry Ryan said he's had two conversations with the league office and considers the case to be closed.

"The bottles of champagne have been returned," Ryan said.

Timing is everything

The Twins' run against left-handed starting pitching comes with righthanded hitters White, Jeff Cirillo (knee surgery) and Lew Ford (knee surgery) on the sidelines.

"Somehow, someway, this will make us better down the line." Ryan said. "Players are getting opportunities to play."

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