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Pierzynski Incites Twins' Five-Run Rally

An incident involving White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski, left, and Justin Morneau in the sixth led to the Twins' comeback.
An incident involving White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski, left, and Justin Morneau in the sixth led to the Twins' comeback. (By Paul Battaglia -- Associated Press)

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Twins don't need any extra motivation when they play the White Sox. But if someone like A.J. Pierzynski wants to provide a little extra push, they'll take it.

Spurred by Pierzynski's apparent spike of Twins 1B Justin Morneau, Minnesota turned a one-run deficit into a 10-4 win yesterday.

"I guess [Pierzynski] woke up a sleeping dog, and you don't want to do that," Twins CF Torii Hunter said.

Pierzynski, a former Twin, possibly spiked Morneau while running out a double play to end the sixth inning.

Ron Gardenhire stormed out of the dugout before the White Sox took the field and yelled at the umpires. The manager said after the game that he was upset at first base umpire John Gibson for telling the Twins' dugout to stop talking to Pierzynski.

According to Gardenhire, Gibson looked in the Twins' dugout and made a motion across his throat to try and quiet the team down.

Pierzynski was asked if his reputation had anything to do with the incident.

"Doesn't it always?" he said. "It's part of it. I just don't want it to turn into a big thing. I don't want it to fester. That's why I went to Gardy right away and tried to clear the air. . . . We don't want to make these guys mad. Every time we do, they score 10 runs."

The incident appeared to fire up the Twins, who scored five times in the sixth to take an 8-4 lead.

ยท TORRE TALKS: Sensing an attitude problem on his struggling team, Yankees Manager Joe Torre held an hour-long meeting before last night's game in Toronto. The session ran so long the Yankees were nearly a half-hour late taking the field for stretching and batting practice.

"I've seen some tentativeness," Torre said. "If there's a word to characterize this whole thing, it's frustration."

New York fell six games below .500 for the first time this season after being swept by the Angels over the weekend. The Yankees (21-27) have dropped 11 of their past 16, leaving them 12 1/2 games behind Boston in the AL East -- their largest deficit since late in the 1995 season.

Meantime, Roger Clemens pitched six scoreless innings in Class AAA, leaving to a standing ovation in what the Yankees hope is his final start in the minors.

-- From News Services

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