Yankees-Twins: Yankees Take Final Game Of Series 3-0

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Yanks WIn Behind Inside The Park Home Run

Behind a regular home run from Mark Teixiera and an inside the park home run by Curtis Granderson, Ivan Nova pitched seven scoreless innings, and the New York Yankees shut out Minnesota 3-0. The Yankees ended up taking three of four games from the Twins in the weekend series.

Nova was pretty impressive, as he didn’t yield a hit until a joe Mauer single in the fourth, and for the most part, he was matched pitch for pitch by pitcher Nick Blackburn and several bullpen guys. Blackburn left with elbow discomfort after only 1.1 innings, and was relieved by Anthony Swarzak, Phil DUmatrait, the eventual losing pitcher, Jose Mijares, Al Barnett, and Joe Nathan.

The Twins only managed 7 hits all day, with Joe Mauer leading the way with three singles. Danny Valencia also had two hits, one of them a double, and once again, the Twins were terrible with runners in scoring position, as they only went 1-9 today.

The Twins homestand continues Monday, as Baltimore comes to town for four games.


It's Blackburn vs. Nova In Finale

Last night the Twins jumped on A.J. Burnett early and cruised to a win, and they would like to repeat the same pattern this afternoon against rookie Ivan Nova.

Nova, who sports a 12-4 record, best for a rookie, has been on a hot streak lately, going undefeated in his last nine starts, getting 8 victories in that span. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that’s the best run for a Yankees rookie pitcher since Whitey Ford in 1950.

If that’s not bad enough news for the Twins, it also looks like all signs are pointing to Alex Rodriguez returning today, too.

Minnesota will counter Nova with Nick Blackburn, who is on an anti-Nova streak of sorts, going 0-4 over his last five starts with a relatively heinous 7.98 ERA. For the season, he is 7-10 overall with a 4.53 ERA.

On the injury front, it looks like Michael Cuddyer will be available off the bench as a pinch hitter. Cuddyer hurt his neck during batting practice over a week ago, and the Twins have considered putting him on the disabled list, but have held off as he has seemed to improve over the last few days.

First pitch from Target Field is at 1:10.


Liriano Impressive In Twins Win

Now this…THIS is the Francisco Liriano we’ve been waiting for all season, as he turned in one of his most impressive starts of the year.

Liriano, bolstered by an offense that pounced on Yankees starter A.J. Burnett for seven runs in two innings, went seven innings, giving up only three hits, one unearned run, one walk, while he struck out six.

Liriano’s case was helped immensely, as Minnesota got two runs in the first, and then exploded for five in the second. Danny Vlencia lead the inning off with his thirteenth home run, and then A.J Burnett decided that he no longer needed to throw strikes, as he walked three batters in a row, to include Justin Morneau with the bases loaded. Jason Kubel followed with a two run single, and Burnett’s night was just about over.

Jason Kubel led the Twins offense on the night, going 3 for 5 with two RBI’s.

Game four of the series continues tomorrow at 1:10 PM.


Twins Try To Break The Yankee Curse Tonight

If the Twins are going to pull out of their August nosedive and stabilize, they’re going to have to do it against a team that they have a a next to impossible time beating.

With last night’s win against the Good Guys, the Evil Empire now has won 20-23 games against the Twins, and their task doesn’t get any easier tonight.

Is it because of the Yankees starter, A.J. Burnett? No, he’s been fairly pedestrian this year, going 9-9 with a 4.61 ERA. Is it because the Yankees are one of the best teams in baseball? Yeah, that’s part of it, but that’s only part of the answer.

The other half is the Twins themselves—they have been their own worst enemy all year, and the biggest violator of shooter-in-the-foot-itis is Francisco Liriano, tonight’s scheduled starter.

Liriano has been a paranoid schizophrenic on the mound this year. He has an 8-9 record with a 5.12 ERA this season, and has just been befuddling as a starter this year. When he’s good, he’s awesome, as his early season no-hitter will attest, and when he’s bad, he’s awful…like most of his starts have been, unfortunately.

First pitch tonight is 6:05 from Target Field.


Twins Fall Again To Yankees, 8-1

To say that the New York Yankees have "owned" the Minnesota Twins during the Ron Gardenhire era would be a disservice to how dominant New York has been over that stretch. The Yankees have absolutely dominated the Twins since Gardenhire took over as manager, and Friday night was a microcosm of that dominance.

The Twins managed just two hits against Yankees pitching on Friday night at Target Field, getting thrashed by New York to the tune of 8-1. The loss dropped the Twins' record against the Yankees since Gardenhire became the team's manager to 19-62 (including the post-season), a staggering 43 games under .500.

Minnesota actually got off to an early lead against the Yankees, as Trevor Plouffe launched a solo home run in the bottom of the first off of Yankees' starter Phil Hughes (4-4, 5.75 ERA) to give the Twins a 1-0 lead. However, the Twins would not get another hit until Luke Hughes' single in the eighth inning.

In the meantime, the Yankees were busy pounding returning Twins' starter Kevin Slowey (0-1, 6.20 ERA). Slowey, who had not pitched at all for the Twins since May 20, gave up six runs on nine hits in 5.2 innings of work on the evening. Included in that were two home runs given up to the Yankees' ninth batter in the lineup, catcher Russell Martin, accounting for three of the six runs that Slowey allowed. Anthony Swarzak allowed two runs on four hits in three innings of relief.

The Twins will, once again, fight the (seemingly) unbeatable foe on Saturday night at Target Field, as they will take on the Yankees in the third of this four-game series, with first pitch from Target Field scheduled for 6:10 PM Central time. The Yankees will give the ball to right-hander A.J. Burnett (9-9, 4.61 ERA), while the Twins will counter with the always entertaining (seemingly in a different way each start) Francisco Liriano (8-9, 5.12 ERA).


Slowey Gets First Start Of Season

Twins pitcher will get his first start of the year tonight, as he tries to even the series with the Yankees at a game apiece.

Slowey, who has only made six appearances all season, has spent a fair amount of time injured and on an extended rehab assignment in Rochester, where he pitched well enough in his last few starts to earn a start.

Phil Hughes gets the start for the Yankees tonight, who has 3-4 record with a 6.55 ERA on the season.

For the Twins, what would a preview be without an injury update? Denard Span was placed on the DL, retroactive to August 14th with migraine symptoms, and infielder Luke Hughes was recalled from Rochester to take his spot on the roster.

The Twins lineup for tonight is:

Revere, B, CF
Plouffe, T, RF
Mauer, J, C
Morneau, J,
Kubel, J, DH .
Valencia, D, 3B
Tosoni, R, LF
Hughes, L, 2B
Nishioka, T, SS


Yankees Beat Twins 8-4

It’s getting harder and harder to say the same thing over and over.

The Minnesota Twins lost again, much in the same way they’ve lost most of their games this year—bad starting pitching, not enough hitting, and a bullpen that either can’t hold a lead or keep it close to give the Twins a chance to win the game.

Bad pitching: Brian Duensing, who’s been up and down all year, was down on Thursday. He only went five innings, giving up 10 hits, a walk, and six earned runs, and two home runs.

Untimely hitting: Justin Morneau, who hit a bomb in the first inning to give the Twins an apparent 2-0 lead, saw the call reversed by replay. And although it was the right call, it’s kind of been the Twins hitting in a microcosm this year. Although the Twins did take an early lead, Duensing couldn’t hold it, and the Twins fell behind 6-2. After they scored 2 in the bottom of the seventh to get within two runs…

Bad pitching took over from the bullpen, as Matt Capps gave up two runs in the ninth, wiping out any chance the Twins had to make a comeback.

The Twins have now lost 20 of 23 against the Yankees, and tomorrow Kevin Slowey will square off against Phil Hughes.


Yankees-Twins: New York Comes To Town To Start Long Homestand

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