After scoring just one run in 11 innings in Saturday, the Yankees' offense broke out once again on Sunday, scoring nine straight runs to open up the game against the Minnesota Twins, but the game tightened up in the final innings, and the Bombers were able to pull away with a 9-7 win, taking three of four games against the Twins at Target Field this week.
The Yankees pounded Twins starter Ricky Nolasco for six runs in the first two innings, including to in the 1st, Brett Gardner opened the game with a walk, Derek Jeter singled, then Mark Teixeira singled to batters later, scoring Gardner to put the Yanks on the board. The next batter, Brian McCann, doubled to deep right-center to drive in Jeter.
Brian Roberts, Ichiro Suzuki and Kelly Johnson kicked off the 2nd inning with back-to-back-to-back singles. Two batters later, Jeter knocked in Roberts on a sac-fly, then Jacoby Ellsbury smacked a three-run homerun to right field, his 5th of the season, to put the Yankees up 6-0.
Nolasco only lasted two innings, being tagged for six runs on seven hits. He walked one and didn't strike out anybody while tossing 42 pitches. Not his day.
Anthony Swarzak was the Yankees' next victim, as he was attacked for three runs in the 4th inning.
Ichiro and Johnson opened with back-to-back singles. Jeter singled two batters later to bring in Ichiro; Ellsbury grounded into a fielder's choice, scoring Johnson; after Teixeira singled to move Ellsbury to third base, Ellsbury scored from third base on a Swarzak balk, making it a 9-0 game.
But the Twins didn't gave up, as they scored seven unanswered runs to make this a ballgame once again.
Hiroki Kuroda was pitching well for the Yankees -- he only gave up a hit through the first three innings before the Twins got all four of their runs against him in the 4th on five hits and an error -- an infield single scored the first run; and RBI double by Trevor Plouffe scored the second; then a two-run homerun by Chris Colabello made it a 9-4 game.
Kuroda managed to make it through 5 2/3 innings, giving up four runs on seven hits with two walks and three strikeouts on 105 pitches. Not a bad outing from him; it could have been better.
The Yankees didn't do anything offensively after jumping out to a 9-0 lead, but the Twins added one run in each inning after the 6th, starting the streak against Adam Warren in the 7th, who was appearing in his 40th game of the season.
Minnesota put runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out after Brian Dozier doubled and Eduardo Nunez singled, advancing to second on the throw to third. Chris Parmelee followed Nunez with a run-scoring groundout. Warren didn't have much control, walking the next batter, but struck out Oswaldo Garcia to end the inning.
Plouffe went deep off of Jim Miller in the 8th, hitting a solo homerun into the left-center field bullpen. The David Robertson entered the game in the 9th, looking for his third save of this four-game series. He struck out the first batter, gave up a pair of singles to put runners on 1st and 2nd, struck out Josh Willingham for the second out ahead of Arcia, who singled him a run to pull the Twins within two runs, but bounced back to get Kurt Suzuki to groundout to end the ball game.
Jeter, by the way, singled in his final at-bat of the game in the 9th inning. The hit was the 3,400th of his career.
The Yankees will head off to Cleveland now to start a four-game series against the Indians at Progressive Field. The Yankees announced today that Shane Greene will come up to make the start in the place of Vidal Nuno, who was traded to the D-Backs on Sunday. He and the Yanks will be facing Justin Masterson at 7:05 pm ET.