ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Boof Bonser made his first start in his hometown something special.
The Twins won another one-run game on the road Monday, 2-1 over the Devil Rays. The Twins have now won their last seven road games decided by the minimum margin, tying the longest single-season streak of the last 22 years. Six other teams have won seven consecutive one-run road games over that time; the last team with a longer streak was the 1983 Reds (nine in a row).
Bonser allowed one run in 6 1/3 innings and Rondell White hit a go-ahead two-run homer to help the Minnesota Twins beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 2-1 on Monday and retake the AL wild-card lead."You never know what's going to happen, of course, coming home, pitching in front of a lot of friends," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I think he's past that stuff. He's been in control of himself pretty good."Bonser (4-5) allowed five hits and had six strikeouts. There were a number of fans who had Boof signs at the game."I wasn't really looking up in the stands because I'm sure I'd pick somebody out and started laughing or something," Bonser said. "It's nice to finally get a chance to pitch in front of the home crowd."Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon was impressed with Bonser's command of all his pitches."He has a nice demeanor on the mound," Maddon said. "A typical Minnesota pitcher, he does not walk people. If you look at them, they're very good at not walking. You have to earn what you get from that group."Bonser departed after center fielder Torii Hunter made a leaping catch at the wall on Kevin Witt's drive leading off the seventh."I lost it for a minute," Hunter said. "I knew it was hit pretty far. I went up and tried to make something happen."Trailing 1-0 in the seventh, White gave the Twins the lead with a shot to left off Tim Corcoran (4-7)."I wanted to bounce it," Corcoran said of the home run pitch. "I felt like he was going to be over-aggressive and swing at anything like that. I left it up. It looked like a ball off the plate, but that's what he was looking for and he jumped at it."It was White's first career homer at Tropicana Field, coming in his 61st at-bat. The 12-year veteran has now homered in every major-league park he has played in except Mile High Stadium in Denver.Minnesota, which moved a half-game ahead of Chicago in the AL wild-card race, has won 13 in a row against Tampa Bay dating back to 2004.Jesse Crain and Dennys Reyes combined for 1 2/3 scoreless innings before Joe Nathan pitched the ninth to pick up his 29th save.Dioner Navarro hit a solo homer for the Devil Rays, who have the majors' worst record since the All-Star break at 16-33. Corcoran, 0-7 in last 10 starts, gave up two runs and five over seven innings."It's not discouraging at all," said Corcoran, who has saw his ERA drop to 3.84. "I know it will come around."Twins catcher Joe Mauer, who entered hitting an AL-leading .348, went 0-for-2 with two walks and had his average drop two points to .346.Navarro put the Devil Rays ahead 1-0 on his fourth homer of the season in the fifth off Bonser, who has given up 13 homers in his last 58 innings.The Twins had two on and one out in both the third and fifth but failed to score. They went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring during the stretch.
Tampa Bay left-hander Scott Kazmir (sore left shoulder) expects to resume playing catch on Wednesday. It hasn't been determimed if he will pitch again this season. ... Twins left-hander Francisco Liriano (strained left elbow) had a 78-pitch bullpen session. He is scheduled to throw batting practice Wednesday. ... Minnesota second baseman Luis Castillo
was back in the lineup after missing the previous four games with a sprained right ankle. ... The Twins recalled outfielder Josh Rabe from
Triple-A Rochester. ...Tampa Bay recalled catcher Shawn Riggans and purchased the contract of right-hander Juan Salas from Triple-A Durham. The Devil Rays also plan to reinstate right-hander Jae Seo (strained left groin) from the DL to start Tuesday's game.