Boone was hitless in his first 10 at-bats since being traded by
Seattle and 0-for-18 overall. But he fisted a single to center in
the fourth inning that lifted Minnesota to a 5-4 victory over the
Los Angeles Angels on Saturday night.
"You have to start somewhere," said Boone, who also struck out
three times. "When you come to a new team, you want to get off to
a good start."
The Twins acquired Boone from the Mariners in a trade during the
All Star break. He has struggled mightily at the plate this season,
so he fits right in with the offensively challenged Twins.
But he came through on Saturday, capping a five-run fourth
inning against Angels starter Bartolo Colon (11-6) that erased a
"He needs at-bats," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He's still
missing pitches we've seen him kill before. ... I just want to see
him keep swinging."
Johan Santana (8-5) was a little shaky early, but rebounded to
pitch seven innings for his first victory in six starts, which
included three straight losses.
Joe Nathan pitched the ninth for his 26th save in 29 chances.
"My swing feels a little funky right now, a little long," said
Boone, who didn't have an at-bat for 12 games before being traded
to Minnesota. "I feel like I can compete, but I don't feel like
myself right now."
Things certainly didn't look good early for Santana and the
Chone Figgins reached on an error by first baseman Justin
Morneau to start the game, then advanced to second on a wild pitch.
He scored when a grounder from Vladimir Guerrero went right through
the legs of third baseman Luis Rodriguez, the second error of the
Garret Anderson, playing in his first game of the series after
missing Thursday with a sore back and Friday to attend his
grandmother's funeral in California, followed with an RBI single
and scored on a double from Orlando Cabrera for a 3-0 lead.
The Twins then had runners on second and third with nobody out
in the second, but failed to score after Jacque Jones struck out,
Morneau flied out weakly to third and Rodriguez grounded out with
the bases loaded.
The Angels added another run in the fourth when Adam Kennedy
doubled home Cabrera, who had three hits in his first game back
from the disabled list.
"Usually when you give a pitcher of that caliber a four-run
lead, you're not going to win," Boone said.
The Twins did all their damage against a tiring Colon in the
fourth. They showed uncharacteristic discipline at the plate,
running Colon's pitch count into the 90s by fouling off pitch after
pitch and running the count deep.
"When you make a horse like him work like that, there's a
chance he runs out of steam," Gardenhire said. "And I think
that's what happened out there."
Minnesota opened the inning with three straight hits, singles by
Mauer and Torii Hunter and an RBI-double by Jones. Hunter scored on
a sacrifice fly by Morneau to make the score 4-2 and Michael Ryan
followed with his first homer of the year, a towering two-run shot
to the upper deck in right field, that tied the score.
Rodriguez tripled to the gap in right-center and then scored on
Boone's hit to give the Twins the lead.
"It took a lot out of Bart," Angels manager Mike Scioscia
said. "Even though we were inside, it was still a little humid and
it took a toll on him later in the game."
Santana took over from there, retiring nine straight batters
before giving way to Juan Rincon in the eighth. He gave up four
runs -- one earned -- on five hits and struck out three.
Colon threw 114 pitches in five innings -- only the second time
in 19 starts that he hasn't reached the sixth inning -- giving up
eight hits and the five runs while striking out five.
"It seemed like every pitch I was making was the game-winning
or game-saving type of pitch," Colon said through an interpreter.
"It also happened to Johan the same way ... but he rebounded
better than I did. I was not able to get it done."
Guerrero had two hits taken away from him by stellar
defensive plays. In the third, SS Nick Punto dove to his left and
threw him out from his knees. In the fifth, Jones crashed into the
wall in right field to make a dazzling catch. ... Angels 3B Zach
Sorensen got his first at-bats of the season after being called up
from Triple-A Salt Lake on July 9. He went hitless in three plate
appearances. ... No respect: Boone's name was spelled wrong on the
scoreboard. His first name was spelled 'Brett.' ... Ryan's homer
was his first since Sept. 27, 2003, and the Twins' first in 173