Minnesota Mash, Twins Clobber Yanks to take Series • Latino Sports


Minnesota Mash, Twins Clobber Yanks to take Series


Yankee Stadium, the Bronx- Whether it was catching a few lucky breaks, getting out of jams, or putting together some timely hitting, the Minnesota Twins did a little bit of everything in their 10-4 knockout over the New York Yankees.

Looking to find their rhythm heading into the All-Star break, the Twins managed to take the rubber match on Sunday afternoon, scoring 10 runs for the third time this season off 14 hits and two big Yankee errors.

Already leading 2-0, the Twins broke the game open in the bottom of the third. It began on a well placed hit by Twins’ first baseman Justin Morneau, whose seemingly innocent pop-fly turned into a double in right-field as outfielders Vernon Wells and Ichiro Suzuki almost collided, both missing the ball. Minnesota designated hitter Trevor Plouffe then reached first on an E6 by Yankees’ shortstop Eduardo Nunez, as the throw was high and away from the bag.

The big blow would come from Minnesota prospect Aaron Hicks, who despite coming into the game batting .197, followed Plouffe with a three-run blast [HR 8] off Pinstripes’ starter CC Sabathia, a firecracker on a change-up over the axillary scoreboard in left-field for a 5-0 Twins lead.

Hicks, who finished 1-for-4 also earned a career-high three RBIs with the home run, and now leads all American League rookies with 35 runs scored.

The Yankees would scratch across a run in the bottom of the third inning to make it 5-1, but matters got worse for the Bombers in the top of the fourth.

The Twins added three runs when lead-off batter Brian Dozier started the fourth with a double in center-field that Ichiro and Wells could not agree on for the second time in the game, as the ball dropped in for a bloop, putting runners on second and third with only one out.

Sabathia made matters worse, walking hot-hitting Twins’ catcher Joe Mauer to load the bases for Morneau.

Morneau weakly tipped a high pop-up over the mound that Sabathia made an earnest attempt on, but would not catch, scoring third baseman Jamey Carroll from third for a 6-1 Twins lead. Twins right-fielder Ryan Doumit then grounded into a force out, but Dozier and Mauer still scored. The odd inning continued with Doumit advancing to second on an E3, until being caught in a rundown for the second out, as the Twins raced two more runs on the board for a seven run, 8-1 lead.

“It had been a terrible road trip, no doubt about it,” said Doumit, adding, ” To get two out of three at Yankee Stadium…it shows a lot of character.

Sabathia struck out Plouffe to end the inning, but was still heartily booed by the fans.

“The ball fell our way today,” said Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire. “We got some bloops, we hit some balls hard, and things went our way, and that hasn’t happened here in a long time where we get all the breaks, and today we got a lot of breaks.”

The Yankees were not without their chances, three times loading the bases, twice with catcher Chris Stewart at the plate.

Stewart hit into an inning-ending double-play the first time in the bottom of the second, one inning after the Yankees hit into an inning-ending double-play in the bottom of the first after Doumit slid for the out in right-field before doubling Ichiro off first base.

Playing in his 2,000th career game, Ichiro [3-for-5] bashed his sixth home run of the season off reliever Caleb Thielbar to right-field, delighting one very loud and gregarious fan who was chanting in Japanese, as the Yankees cut their deficit in half to 8-4.

Ichiro now has 2,696 career MLB hits. According to Elias Sports Bureau, only five players who have debuted since 1900 have more through their first 2,000 games: Ty Cobb, George Sisler, Al Simmons, Roger Hornsby and Paul Waner.

The Yankees would strand nine runners in the loss, scoring just two earned runs in five innings off Minnesota starter Kyle Gibson, who evened his record to 2-2 in his fourth Major league start with the win.

“Two big games for us,” said Gibson, adding, “heard we’ve struggled here historically.” That the Twins have, as their series win over the Yankees is their first since 2008, and their first on the road since 2001.

For Sabathia, the two Yankee errors limited his personal damage stat line to three earned runs off eight hits with two walks in four innings pitched. The eight runs allowed are the second-most given up by Sabathia since he joined the Yankees back in 2009, while the five unearned runs are the most Yankees pitchers have surrendered since they gave up seven exactly two years ago in a 16-7 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays.

“He [Sabathia] had some bad luck, he couldn’t catch Morneau’s pop-fly,” said Gardenhire on the difference on beating Sabathia this time around. “When he made a mistake, we hit it, had some bloops. We’ve been on the flip-side too much, but we hit him hard too.”

The Twins’ bullpen of Anthony Swarzak, Caleb Thielbar, Jared Burton and Glen Perkins combined for four innings of one-run ball on five hits.

Perkins loaded the bases for the Yankees in the ninth, but got Travis Hafner to pop-out to second base to end the game.

Swarzak, who pitched a scoreless sixth inning in relief of Gibson, now leads all Major League relievers with 58.1 innings pitched.

The Twins scored their last two runs on a Dozier RBI-double in the top of the eighth, and on a ball that got away from Stewart scoring Plouffe from third to make the final score of 10-4.

The Twins [39-53] won their second straight game, and are 22-16 when scoring first.

About Oren Vourman

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