Twins win fourth game in 12 tries

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Ron Gardenhire watched from the dugout as his
players crossed the plate with smiles on their faces.

Finally, the injury-riddled Twins had something to laugh about.

Corey Koskie hit two of Minnesota's five home runs, going back
to back with pinch-hitter Matthew LeCroy in the seventh inning to
lead the Twins over Tampa Bay Devil Rays 16-4 Tuesday night for
just their fourth win in 12 games.

"It's nice to sit in there and hit for a while," Gardenhire
said after his team scored six runs in a long fifth inning. "We've
been playing pretty hard and the balls started falling in tonight.

Torii Hunter and Jacque Jones also homered and Carlos Silva
(6-3) pitched seven strong innings for Minnesota, which scored a
season-high 16 runs.

"What's amazing is that everybody knows we're in a funk, but
the clubhouse was loose today," LeCroy said. "That's the nature
of this ballclub."

Minnesota will have even more fun as players come off the
disabled list. The Twins get starting catcher Joe Mauer back on
Wednesday following his nearly month-long stint on the DL. Second
baseman Luis Rivas (strained right groin) is also expected back

"We're going to do whatever it takes to get this kid going,"
Gardenhire said of Mauer, who is expected to be eased back into the
lineup slowly.

Tino Martinez and Robert Fick hit two-run homers for the Devil
Rays, who had a season-high four errors, along with three wild
pitches and eight walks.

Silva allowed five hits and two runs. He lost his three previous
starts after winning his first five decisions.

"Today I just tried to relax a little more," Silva said. "I
think today was my day."

Paul Abbott (2-5) allowed seven runs, six earned, and five hits
in four-plus innings, while walking four and striking out two.

"Sometimes these things are kind of predicated on the guy who
starts the game," Abbott said. "I didn't do my part and put us in
a hole."

Jose Offerman doubled with one out in the second and Henry
Blanco followed with an infield single to Abbott, who overthrew
first, allowing Offerman to score and Blanco to take second.

Blanco went to third on the first of Abbott's two wild pitches
and scored on Lew Ford's two-out RBI single to make it 3-0.

The Twins added an unearned run in the third on first baseman
Fick's double error. Fick misplayed a grounder, allowing Koskie to
score, then his poor throw to the plate allowed Jones to take

"What an ugly game," manager Lou Piniella said. "We just got
blown out."

"We'll just come out and play tomorrow. ... What are you going
to do?"

Martinez's ninth homer of the season, a two-run shot off Silva
in the fourth inning, made it 4-2, but the Twins quickly extended
their lead with a season-high six runs in the fifth inning.

After Abbott walked Doug Mientkiewicz to lead off the inning,
Koskie followed with his seventh homer to make it 6-2.

Cristian Guzman snapped an 0-for-13 slump with a two-run double
off John Halama to make it 8-2. The Twins scored another run on
Jason Standridge's wild pitch and made it 10-2 on Michael Cuddyer's
sacrifice fly.

In the sixth, Jones hit a two-run homer off Standridge to make
it 12-2. The homer snapped an 0-for-20 slide for Jones.

LeCroy hit a two-run shot off Standridge in the seventh and
Koskie followed with a solo shot for the seventh multihomer game of
his career. It was the first time Minnesota has hit back-to-back
homers this year.

Game notes
LeCroy is 2-for-2 with two homers and six RBI as a pinch
hitter this season. ... Minnesota C Joe Mauer, on the DL since
April 7, has been recalled from Triple-A Rochester of the
International League. 1B Justin Morneau was optioned down to
Rochester. ... Martinez moved into 92nd place on the career home
run list with 308. He has hit safely in 10-of-11 games and
17-of-19. ... Standridge allowed eight hits (three homers) and six
runs in 3 2-3 innings and is now 0-0 with a 9.00 ERA and five
homers allowed in 3 games this season.