New York (27-27) at Minnesota (28-26)

Cloudy Currently: Minneapolis, MN
Temp: 43° F
  • Game info: 7:10 pm EDT Sat May 31, 2008
Preview | Box Score | Recap

A disappointing first two months may have put Boof Bonser’s spot in the Minnesota Twins’ rotation in jeopardy.

Facing the New York Yankees doesn’t figure to help his cause.

Bonser looks to rebound from one of the worst starts of his career Saturday night when the Twins continue a four-game series against the Yankees at the Metrodome.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire hasn’t publicly said Bonser (2-6, 6.16 ERA) could lose his place in the rotation, but he did push the right-hander’s start back one day. That put Bonser on the same schedule as Scott Baker (strained groin), who is scheduled to make a rehab start for Class-A Fort Myers on Saturday and could soon replace Bonser in the rotation.

“We’ll keep (Glen) Perkins on his five and move the other guy who has been struggling a little bit,” Gardenhire told the Twins’ official Web site on Tuesday. “If it sets up perfect that way (for a possible move), then it sets up perfect.”

Bonser’s dismal 2008 took another turn for the worse Saturday, when he lasted a season-low three innings while giving up a career-high nine runs and seven hits in a 19-3 loss at Detroit.

“Nothing went right. Everything that I threw, they hit,” said Bonser, who dropped to 0-2 with a 9.59 ERA in five May starts.

Early-inning troubles continue to plague Bonser, who has surrendered 16 runs and four homers in the first inning during his 11 starts this season.

He is 0-2 with a 9.31 ERA in two career starts - both last season - against the Yankees, with the Twins getting outscored 15-2 in those games.

Mike Mussina recovered after a shaky first inning and Bobby Abreu tripled twice and scored all four times he reached base as the Yankees rallied for a 6-5 victory in Friday’s series opener.

Although their latest victory only moved them to .500, the Yankees (27-27) have won seven of nine while averaging 6.7 runs during that span.

With Alex Rodriguez and AL batting leader Hideki Matsui (.339) behind him in the order, Abreu has been getting plenty of good pitches to hit. He is batting .326 (31-for-95) with four homers and 18 RBIs in May.

“They don’t want you to be on base for a walk or whatever. You’re just going to take advantage of it,” Abreu said.

One player that hasn’t contributed much offensively lately is Derek Jeter, who is in a 3-for-37 slide since he was hit by a pitch on the wrist 10 days ago.

New York has won nine of its last 12 games against the Twins (28-26), and is 35-12 versus Minnesota since the start of the 2002 season, including two AL division series victories.

The Twins, who had won three straight and five of six prior to Friday, will try to solve Chien-Ming Wang (6-2, 3.82), who has struggled in his last two starts. The right-hander has allowed 12 runs and 13 hits in 14 innings over his last two outings after limiting opponents to three runs or fewer in each of his previous five games.

Wang gave up five runs and seven hits over 6 1-3 innings against Seattle on Sunday, but didn’t receive a decision after the Yankees rallied for a 6-5 victory.

The Twins haven’t presented much trouble for Wang, who is 2-0 with a 1.71 ERA in three career starts against them.

Morneau is one of the few Twins that has had success against Wang, going 4-for-6 with a double.

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Starting Pitchers

C. Wang Atl vs. B. Bonser Cle
8-2 Record 3-7
4.07 ERA 5.93
54 K 97
35 BB 36
1.32 WHIP 1.48


Saturday, May 31