Angels are gone; help is coming

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 23, 2007 - 11:38 PM

Another day of subpar offense came with news that a long-awaited player is almost back.

A veteran hitter is returning to the Twins tonight. Ol' what's his name?

Rondell White. Yes, that's him.

The one who injured his right calf skipping onto the field on that 31-degree day in Chicago, April 7.

The Twins activated the veteran outfielder from the disabled list in time for tonight's game at Toronto.

"I think he's been in Florida long enough," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said Sunday, hoping the news would cheer his ornery ballclub following a 7-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels before 33,217 at the Metrodome.

The Twins missed a chance for another sweep, finishing 6-4 on a homestand that started with four victories over Oakland after the All-Star break.

"I think we were a little tired today," shortstop Jason Bartlett said. "We didn't come out ready to play. I don't know if it was the day game or what, but we didn't play like we have been the last couple days."

The lowlights included Matt Garza (1-2) and Juan Rincon each walking home a run and Bartlett committing his 19th error, which led to an unearned run in the second inning.

When Garret Anderson homered off Garza in the third inning, it stretched the Angels' lead to 3-0 and ended Los Angeles' streak of 14 games without a home run.

Joe Saunders (4-0) hopped the Angels' shuttle from Class AAA Salt Lake City and held the Twins to two runs and six hits over seven innings.

Teams that rely on young players are bound to be inconsistent, and that word continues to define these Twins.

White, 35, has had setback after setback. The calf healed, and then his right hamstring started barking.

He made it through a full game Sunday for the Twins' Gulf Coast League affiliate, going 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI as the designated hitter. To make room for White on the roster, the team optioned Garrett Jones to Class AAA Rochester.

Gardenhire said White will DH for the Twins until his leg feels good enough to play the outfield again.

"Maybe getting Rondell back will help us out against some of these lefthanded pitchers who are getting to us," Gardenhire said.

The Twins are 13-16 when the opponent starts a lefthander, and that includes consecutive losses to Saunders and Detroit's Andrew Miller and Nate Robertson.

For his career, White is batting .313 against lefties, and .276 against righties.

The Twins hope he can be the same spark he was last year, when he returned from a shoulder injury after the All-Star break and seemed like a different player.

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