Ever since Jason Giambi’s walk-off grand slam in the rain at old Yankee Stadium in 2002, one could essentially bank on the New York Yankees beating the Minnesota Twins with their eyes closed and hands tied behind their backs. Yet, this time around not even the Twins would be the magic elixir, as the Yankees ran their winless series streak to ten straight.
In their first game at Minnesota, the Yankees rallied but couldn’t quite cash in on every opportunity in a 4-2 loss to the Twins.
It’s tough to prepare and pitch on short notice, so, considering the circumstances Bryan Mitchell provided the Yankees with yeoman’s work. An Eddie Rosario RBI-double in the second and more misadventures are first base in the third was all Mitchell yielded across his five frames of work.
Caleb Smith showed some flashes of brilliance in relief with five K’s but couldn’t quite hold back the Twins in the end. A pinch hit RBI-single by Eduardo Escobar and another RBI-double from Rosario capped off the scoring.
While Aaron Judge’s bat has cooled off, his fielding has not taken a dip. With the bases loaded in the third and Miguel Sano at the plate, Judge showed off his hose by nailing Brian Dozier at the dish for a double play.
HANGIN’ WITH MR. COOPER
Garrett Cooper had himself quite the evening, collecting three hits and a RBI. Cooper started a two-out rally in the fifth with a double off Adalberto Mejia. Ensuing batter Austin Romine would trade places with Cooper and the Yankees were on the board.
Facing Tyler Duffey in the fifth, Cooper traded places with Chase Headley and doubled home the tying run.
Can we talk about Clint Frazier’s hustle and aggressive base running for a moment? In both of his hits to left, the rookie outfielder absolutely booked it to second each time. This kid has great instincts and they were on full display at Target Field.
After Frazier set the table with a double, Judge was intentionally walked and Matt Holliday grounded into a double play. Following another intentional walk to Starlin Castro, Didi Gregorius curiously bunted and the ball died at home plate, allowing for an easy putout at first base by catcher Jason Castro.
Yes, even Derek Jeter used to try this on occasion but it was a dicey proposition with two outs.
After a somewhat slow start the Yankees were able to bounce back and double up the Twins 6-3. There would be no bunting by Mr. Gregorius in this one.
FIVE FOR FIFTH
Trailing 3-1 entering the fifth, the Bronx Bombers finally got to ex-Yankee Bartolo Colon. Ronald Torreyes set the table with a single to center. Ensuing batter Brett Gardner lashed a ground rule double to left. Gary Sanchez followed suite with a game-tying double to left and Colon was sent to the showers.
With Ryan Pressly on, Judge kept the line moving with a single to center.
Then with one down, Gregorius connected on a jolt to right, capping off the Yanks scoring on the night.
The Knighted One blasts a 2-run HR and all of a sudden it's 6-3 Yankees! ⚔⚔⚔ pic.twitter.com/JSu4YjiSs6
After Luis Cessa struggled with his control, the Yanks pen picked him up. Between Chasen Shreve, Adam Warren, Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman, the bullpen fashioned 4.1 frames of six strikeout scoreless ball.
This output should only improve as after the game the club traded for David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle.
Even with reinforcements, the Yankees suffered a brutal 6-1 defeat against the Twins. Even with those acquisitions, the Yankees still could use a starting pitcher or two. Only an RBI-single by Gardner in the seventh would keep New York from getting blanked.
A six-run second stanza was the ultimate undoing of Jordan Montgomery. Minnesota took “Gumby” up the box and then out of the yard. A two-run single up the middle by Zach Granite gave the Twins the 2-0 edge. An RBI-single up the box by Escobar increased the advantage to 3-0. Then Sano added the exclamation point with a three-run blast to center.
Drafted by the Yankees in 2010, Kahnle made his long awaited debut, fanning two in a flawless eighth.
At 48-45, the Yankees shift to Seattle to face the Mariners in a four-game series starting Thursday night.
Pitching probables include Luis Severino vs. Felix Hernandez, Masahiro Tanaka vs. Andrew Moore, CC Sabathia vs. Ariel Miranda, Luis Cessa vs. Sam Gaviglio.