Hunter puts ejection behind him

NEW YORK - The phrase sounded familiar and certainly is linked to Yankee Stadium.

"He's the straw that stirs the drink, as they say in this city," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said of outfielder Torii Hunter. "He does that well for us. He gets us motivated pretty good."

Hunter was a key figure on Wednesday, going 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and two runs scored as the Twins beat the Yankees. Hunter, however, was a little too stirred up early.

With Justin Morneau on second in the first inning, Hunter struck out on a high pitch from Mike Mussina to end the inning.

"I was still kind of upset about [Tuesday], coming in this morning," Hunter said. "I had to calm myself down after that first at-bat. I came back in the clubhouse, drank some coffee, settled myself down, said a prayer and was ready to go."

On Tuesday, Hunter was ejected for yelling at home umpire Ron Kulpa from the dugout. He then rushed the field and had more words for Kulpa and crew chief Wally Bell.

Hunter expects a fine but no suspension. Major League Baseball offices were closed Wednesday.

Nothing within

Gardenhire and Twins General Manager Terry Ryan scoured the minor league stats Wednesday to see if anyone was worth a call-up.

It didn't look good. Class AAA Rochester infielder Matt Tolbert was batting .380 a few weeks ago, but he has dropped to .326.

Outfielder Garrett Jones, who has power, struck out four times Tuesday.

Designated hitter Ken Harvey, who is back after knee surgery, did hit a grand slam for Rochester on Tuesday. The Twins need for Harvey to keep hitting -- and stay healthy -- before he could get a serious look.

The Twins keep waiting for outfielder Rondell White to fully recover from the torn calf muscle that's limited him to three games. White felt the calf tighten while sliding into second base Tuesday during a rehab game with Class A Fort Myers.

White has been moved to the Twins' Gulf Coast League rookie team. That way, he can stay away from bus trips and work on getting healthy when he's not playing games.

"I'm interested in his health more than his skills," Ryan said.

High on Neshek

Gardenhire thinks setup man Pat Neshek has what it takes to be a closer.

"He has the mentality," Gardenhire said. "He has the 'no fear' to go to the ninth inning. Absolutely, no doubt. How long can he maintain that, you just don't know. You just put him out there and let him try. But, yes, he has the makeup for that."

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