belted a three-run home run and
added three hits as the Twins posted their seventh straight victory over the
, 8-5, in a contest filled with hit batsmen and ejections.
Baldelli provided all the offense for Tampa Bay, hitting his first major league homer and driving in all five runs. The homer was Baldelli's second hit of the game and 40th of the season, passing Seattle's
for the most hits by a rookie through the month of April since 1912.
"From a personal standpoint, I am playing pretty well," Baldelli said. "I have confidence. If I am confident, that's all I can ask for. I need to just stay comfortable. It's a good feeling, but I can't get too happy if we don't win."
Baldelli was all the
could be proud of in this one as starter
(2-1) allowed six runs and six hits while hitting two batters and retiring just four.
"I just didn't have it tonight," McClung said. "I let the team down. I won't mope around, though. I have to pitch again next week."
McClung got the bad blood boiling when he hit
with his first offering after Hunter's three-run blast in the bottom of the first inning gave the Twins a 4-1 lead.
"It was a bad time to hit somebody," Kielty said. "We have been in a lot of testy games lately, especially with Chicago. If something happens, we might be on edge. I don't know if it was on purpose, you would need to ask him that. It seemed intentional."
After plate umpire
warned both benches, McClung opened the second inning by hitting
with his first pitch and gave up two more runs before being lifted.
"They overreacted," McClung said. "I know it looked bad, but it was not intentional."
yielded two runs in the fourth for an 8-4 Minnesota lead before throwing behind
in the fifth without a warning.
"The guys were hitting the ball around a lot and then you hit a guy," Mientkiewicz said. "That's wrong, but it's a part of the game. I guess he felt he needed to have the inside of the plate. We will come back tomorrow and see how it goes. We need to just come here and act like nothing happened."
(2-3), who snapped a personal three-game losing skid, responded by hitting
with two outs in the sixth and was ejected for the first time in his career.
"Their guy (McClung) gets warned and then hits a guy and doesn't get thrown out," Radke said. "I try to come inside and I get thrown out. It doesn't make sense."
came on for Radke and plunked the first batter he faced but did not get tossed. In the bottom of the frame, Bierbrodt threw behind
, earning himself an ejection.
"We weren't throwing at their hitters," Piniella said. "McClung and Bierbrodt were throwing the ball all over the place. Our guys were not throwing at anybody. Why do you think we are 10-17? We don't throw strikes."
Gardenhire had been thrown out in the first for arguing a baserunning call against
"I sat here (in the clubhouse) and watched it on TV," Gardenhire said. "I am at a loss. I just don't understand that. Something was wrong in that ballgame. It's something I just don't agree with."
Baldelli gave the
a 1-0 lead with an RBI double in the first. But
hit a grounds-rule double in the bottom of the inning for his first career RBI and Hunter followed with his third homer of the season and second in as many days.
"The last eight games, I have started to feel pretty good," Hunter said. "I haven't always had the results I want, but I will take one a day."
After Prince was hit in the second,
tripled and scored on Jones' single to right for a 6-1 Minnesota cushion.
Baldelli got Tampa Bay back in it in the third, swatting a homer to left after
"It was a fastball," Baldelli said. "(Radke) doubled up on me. I fouled the first one off myself. The next one was pretty much the same pitch, and I hit it."
But with two on and one out in the fourth, Koskie hit a comebacker and Rivas beat Bierbrodt's throw home for a 7-4 Twins lead. Sears followed with a groundout that plated Jones for his second RBI of the game.
Baldelli capped the scoring with an RBI groundout in the ninth.