Friday Night Baseball: Twins Topple Yankees • Latino Sports

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Friday Night Baseball: Twins Topple Yankees

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Yankee Stadium, the Bronx- Baseball is a sport with a deep connection to the importance of numbers. On Friday night the Minnesota Twins found strength in the number two, as it appeared with vigor throughout the evening with exception to the final score, a 6-1 win over the host New York Yankees.

In the top of the second inning, Twins’ right-fielder Oswaldo Arcia [2-for-4] blasted his second home run of the season into the second deck in right-field off Yankees’ starter Vidal Nuno that provided Minnesota with an early 1-0 lead.

The top of third continued with an aggressive approach at the plate for Minnesota, as lead-off hitter Danny Santana began the inning with a double into left-field. It was at this moment though that things took an ugly turn for one of Minnesota’s most dynamic young talents.

While sliding head first into third base for an attempted steal, Santana’s batting helmet flipped off his head and came crashing down right in front of his face, lacerating his left upper eyelid.

The wound took Santana out of the game for pinch-runner Aaron Hicks. Minnesota catcher Joe Mauer, who batted after Santana, almost drove in another run, hitting a high-fly ball into left-field, but Yankees’ outfielder Brett Gardner’s catch on the warning track stranded Hicks at third to keep the score at 1-0 Twins.

Gardner continued to deliver for the Pinstripes in the bottom of the third, scoring from third base on a down-the-line RBI double by Jacoby Ellsbury, tying the game at 1-1.

The Twins responded with five unanswered runs.

Getting back to the power of two, Twins’ left-fielder Josh Willingham led off the top of the fourth inning with a shot to left centerfield that crash-landed into the Twins bullpen for his second homer of the season, and his second home run in as many games, putting the Twins backs on top 2-1.

“His stuff was pretty decent,” said Yankees’ skipper Joe Girardi of Nuno. “But when he made a mistake, they hit it out of the park.”

Two batters later, Minnesota third baseman Trevor Plouffe smashed the second home run of the inning off Nuno, for his fourth jack of the season, a two-run homer over the wall in deep center-field for a 4-1 Twins lead.

“It makes a big difference,” said Plouffe, on having Willingham and Arcia in the lineup. “Those are two guys in the middle of our order we didn’t have a couple weeks ago. Hammer is a guy who has a track record. He’s going to do what he does. Arcia has shown he can do that. He can carry a team at times. That’s something big for us.”

In the bottom of the fifth inning, Derek Jeter advanced to third base on a single, a fielders-choice and a wacky two-man rundown that was officially scored as 9-2-4-2-5-2.

Jeter tried to turn his single into a double, but thought otherwise. His lead off first put him in a rundown between Mauer at first and Brian Dozier at second. At that moment, Gardner broke from second base, and while rounding third, tried to score.

This created two rundowns in which Jeter safely made his way to third from second base, but with only one runner allowed at third, Gardner was neither able to score the run at home or go back to third, and was consequently tagged out on the line near third base [but not before performing a stop, drop and roll maneuver in trying to avoid the tag].

Since being recalled from Triple-A Rochester on May, 26th Arcia has extended a seven-game hit streak, with three doubles and two home runs.

“We really have hopes for this guy. We like him an awful lot,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “You saw that tonight, what he can do.”

Arcia’s sharp play was not contained to the batter’s box though, but was on full display in the outfield, as evidenced in the bottom of the sixth inning when Roberts was tagged out at home by Twins’ catcher Kurt Suzuki, on a great throw in right-field by Arcia.

“He’s always had a good arm,” Willingham said. “I think it’s more consistency with him.”

The Twins scored their last two runs for the final score of 6-1, in the bottom of the eighth inning off Yankees’ reliever Preston Claiborne on a pair of RBI singles by Suzuki and former Yankee Eduardo Nunez.

About Oren Vourman