Righthander Boof Bonser hadn't pitched in a game since Sept. 10, and it showed on Saturday during the Twins' 8-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox at the Metrodome.
Bonser replaced starter Scott Baker after two innings and gave up five runs on eight hits in three innings with two walks and three strikeouts. Jim Thome and Darin Erstad homered. Thome's homer was the 504th of his career, tying him with Eddie Murray for 22nd all time.
Bonser, in his first outing since being demoted to the bullpen, needed a whopping 74 pitches to get nine outs.
"He just didn't get it done," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "You call it what you want. Guys go two weeks without pitching and do fine. Call it what you want. He just didn't throw the ball good.
"Too many runs. Too many pitches. That's exactly why he's out there [in the bullpen]."
Baker was struck on the hand by a line drive by Chicago's Danny Richar with one out in the second. He finished the inning, but Bonser replaced him to open the third for precautionary reasons.
Baker then had to leave for his home in Louisiana to take care of a family emergency and was not available after the game.
Coaches will return
There will be no changes to Gardenhire's coaching staff in 2008, incoming General Manager Bill Smith said.
First base coach Jerry White, third base coach Scott Ullger, pitching coach Rick Anderson, hitting coach Joe Vavra and bullpen coach Rick Stelmaszek are all under contract through 2008.
"They all have worked as hard this year as they have in the past," Gardenhire said.
Gardenhire is under contract through 2009, which means a extension could be in the works sometime next season.
The Twins usually hand out next year's schedule during Fan Appreciation Weekend, but Major League Baseball has held up the release for two reasons, one that affects the Twins.
One, the Twins and Colorado Rockies currently are scheduled to be home when the Republican national convention comes to the Twin Cities and the Democratic convention comes to Denver. That will be adjusted.
Two, Pope Benedict is touring the United States next season and would like to conduct mass at Yankee Stadium, but the Yankees are scheduled to be home at the time. Shea Stadium was mentioned as an alternative, but the Vatican apparently rejected the offer.
The Twins will play the NL West in interleague play next season.