MINNEAPOLIS MN - OCTOBER 6: Jesse Crain #28 of the Minnesota Twins returns to the dugout during game one of the ALDS against the New York Yankees on October 6 2010 at Target Field in Minneapolis Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien /Getty Images)

Crainwreck Derails Twins' Victory Chances In Game One

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Twins Can't Hold On To Lead, Drop Game One To Yankees, 6-4

(Sports Network) – Mark Teixeira’s two-run home run in the seventh inning proved to be the game-winner as the New York Yankees took Game 1 of their American League Division Series matchup against the Minnesota Twins with a 6-4 win.

Curtis Granderson hit a two-run triple while Jorge Posada and Robinson Cano each added an RBI for the Yankees, who come into a quest for their 28th World Series title as the wild card in the American League.

CC Sabathia (1-0), who set a career high with 21 wins this season, went six innings in the start and was charged with four runs — three earned — on five hits with three walks and five strikeouts.

Mariano Rivera worked the final four outs to record the 40th postseason save of his career.

Michael Cuddyer hit a two-run home run, Danny Valencia drove in a run, and Jim Thome scored twice for the Twins, who took the AL Central for the sixth time in the past nine seasons.

Francisco Liriano went 5 2/3 innings in the start and was charged with four runs on six hits with three walks and seven strikeouts. Jesse Crain (0-1) was handed the loss for giving up the home run to Teixeira.

Game 2 will take place on Thursday at Target Field, which saw its first-ever playoff game on Wednesday in its inaugural season.

This series is a rematch of one of last year’s American League Division Series matchups. That series, though, saw the Yankees with home-field advantage and the team took advantage of that situation to sweep the Twins in three games and move on to eventually capture their 27th World Series title.

The game was tied after six innings, but the Yankees went ahead in the seventh frame.

With Crain on the mound and one out, Nick Swisher singled to right. Teixeira then worked a full count before tagging a slider and keeping it just fair of the right field foul pole for a 6-4 advantage.

Boone Logan got the first two outs in the bottom of the seventh before a Joe Mauer single brought David Robertson out of the bullpen. Robertson walked Delmon Young and Thome came to the plate as the go ahead run, but he got the big slugger to swing at a curveball for strike three to get out of the frame.

Minnesota again threatened in the eighth, and again came up empty. Kerry Wood started the inning and struck out Cuddyer, but then walked Jason Kubel before giving up an infield single to Valencia. A groundout by J.J. Hardy moved both runners into scoring position and brought to the mound Rivera, who got Denard Span to ground out to short to end the inning.

Rivera stayed on for the ninth and easily got the first two outs, but then allowed a single to right by Young that appeared to be caught on the run by Greg Golson, but it was ruled a hit. It didn’t matter, though, as Rivera got Thome to pop out on the first pitch to end the game.

After the Yankees stranded men on first and second in the second inning, the Twins went ahead in the bottom of the frame.

Thome was hit by a pitch on the upper right shoulder to leadoff the inning. Cuddyer followed by crushing a 2-0 sinker over the wall in dead center for a 2-0 advantage.

The Yankees got their first two men on base in the third, but Liriano kept them off the board as he got the next three batters out, including a strikeout of Alex Rodriguez on three straight sliders to end the inning.

Minnesota tacked on another run in the third thanks to the speed of Orlando Hudson. He led off the inning with a single and a weak grounder back to first from Mauer saw Hudson wind up at third as he was running on the pitch. A passed ball with Young at the plate saw Hudson come home for a 3-0 lead.

Liriano set down New York in order in the fourth and fifth before the Yankees put together a big sixth inning.

With one out, Teixeira doubled and moved to third on a wild pitch. Rodriguez then worked a walk before Cano brought home the first run with a single to right. After Marcus Thames struck out, Posada punched a single to right and Granderson followed with a towering shot off the wall in right-center for a triple and a 4-3 lead.

Minnesota, though, tied it right back up in the bottom of the frame. With two outs, Thome walked, Cuddyer doubled and Kubel walked to load the bases. Valencia then drew a free pass on four straight balls to tie the contest. Sabathia limited the damage to just the one run as he struck out Hardy to end the frame.

Game Notes

It was announced prior to the series that Twins first baseman Justin Morneau will miss the entire playoffs due to effects from a concussion suffered on July 7…Sabathia has beaten the Twins the last seven times he’s faced them, including a win in Game 1 of the ALDS series between these two squads last year…The Yankees have lost all three series that they have entered as a wild card…The Twins went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left 10 men on base…Andy Pettitte takes the mound for New York in Game 2 and will be opposed by Carl Pavano for Minnesota…The Twins have lost 10 straight postseason games, which includes seven losses to the Yankees.


Teixeira Takes Crain Deep, Yankees Now Lead 6-4

Jesse Crain got the first out in the top of the seventh, but then he allowed a single to Nick Swisher, and hung a 3-2 fastball to Mark Teixiera, who wrapped it just around the foul pole in right field for a two-run homer.

The Yankees now lead 6-4 with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning.


Sabathia Walks In A Run, Game Tied At Four

What a nice job by young Danny Valencia.

After a two-out walk to Jim Thome, a double by Michael Cuddyer, and a walk to Jason Kubel, Valencia drew a four-pitch walk from a suddenly wild C.C. Sabathia, and the game is now tied at four in the bottom of the sixth.

The Twins still have the bases loaded with two out and J.J. Hardy at the plate.


Yankees Take Lead, 4-3, On Granderson RBI Triple

And, with a bad sixth inning, the Twins now find themselves on the wrong end on a 4-3 deficit.

Curtis Granderson took a pitch that Liriano left up in the strike zone, and hit a towering shot to right-center field that bounced off of the scoreboard for a triple. This allowed Jorge Posada and Robinson Cano to score, and the Yankees now have a 4-3 lead.


Yankees Dent Scoreboard in Sixth; Twins Lead 3-1

Apologies for our delay in coverage this evening. . .let’s get you caught up on the scoring thus far.

The Twins opened the scoring in the bottom of the second inning. After Jim Thome led off the inning by getting hit by a C.C. Sabathia pitch, Michael Cuddyer made the Yankees pay with a home run to center field to give the Twins an early 2-0 lead.

The Twins tacked on one more in the bottom of the third. Orlando Hudson led off the inning with a single, and advanced to third on a Joe Mauer ground out. On the next batter, Sabathia uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Hudson to score, and the Twins’ lead increased to 3-1.

Now, the game is in the top of the sixth, and Liriano finds himself in a bit of trouble. RBI singles by Robinson Cano and Jorge Posada have let the Yankees claw back to within 3-2, and the Yankees still have runners on first and second with two out.


Check Out The Game Thread At Twinkie Town!

If you want to follow along with all the action of the 2010 American League Divisional Series, the best place to talk about it with your fellow Twins fans is over at Twinkie Town in their Game Threads.

They’re putting up lots of Game Threads to keep stuff separated. . .the current one is right here.


Yankees at Twins, Game One - Or, "Hey, There's a Baseball Game Tonight!"

(Sports Network) - The New York Yankees begin their quest for a 28th World Series title the same way last year's run to a championship began, with an American League Division Series matchup against the Minnesota Twins.

Unlike last year, though, the Yankees enter the postseason as a wild card and won't have the benefit of home-field advantage, despite finishing a game better than AL Central champion Twins.

The Yankees, who have lost in the first round all three times they have entered the playoffs as a wild card, spent the majority of the year atop the American League East standings, but stumbled in September with a record of just 9-17 in their final 26 games. Still and all, as bad as they played in the final month, the Yanks were in the division mix up until game 162.

New York enters this postseason with a ton of questions surrounding its starting pitching, but still possesses perhaps the best lineup of any of the eight teams in the playoffs.

However, there are no concerns with the man taking the hill tonight, as left- hander CC Sabathia tries to follow up a terrific season that saw him post the most wins in his career by leading the American League with 21 victories to go along with a 3.18 ERA.

"He's a No. 1, an ace," Yankee manager Joe Girardi said. "I think it's probably the easiest way to describe him. You get wins; you get outstanding performances. He stops losing streaks. He wins games. He gives you innings and gives the bullpen a night off. He's tremendous."

The big left-hander, who has beaten the Twins each of the last six times he has faced them, including last year's Game 1 win, started off each of New York's three playoff series last year and posted a 3-1 mark to go along with a 1.98 ERA in five starts last postseason, while holding opponents to three runs or less in each outing.

"You know, it feels good to be able to take the ball," Sabathia said on Tuesday. "In the past, I probably would have put a lot more pressure on myself than I will [Wednesday] and try to do too much. But it definitely feels good to try to get us a win in the first game. We'll just have to wait and see what happens."

In its first year at brand-new Target Field, Minnesota overcame the loss of potential AL MVP candidate Justin Morneau to win the AL Central for the second straight year and for the sixth time in the last nine seasons.

Morneau (.345, 18 HR, 56 RBI) was in the midst of a sensational season when a concussion ended his year on July 7 in Toronto. The Twins were 1 1/2 games back in the Central at the time of the injury, but caught fire over the next two months, winning 47 of the next 68 games to take a 12-game lead in the division.

However, like the Yankees, the Twins stumbled to the finish line, winning just two of their final 10 games.

"We got everybody in there and everybody out there," Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We're relatively healthy going into the playoffs, which is what we're looking for."

Getting the call for Minnesota tonight will be Francisco Liriano, who enjoyed a tremendous bounce-back season for the Twins and was rewarded when he was named the American League's Comeback Player of the Year on Tuesday.

"It's a great feeling when your teammates count on you," Liriano said. "They want to see you out there pitching, doing your job. I'm not going to change anything. I'm going to go out and try to do the same thing I've been doing all year."

Liriano emerged as the team's ace, going 14-10 with a 3.62 ERA. Even though he heads into the playoffs with losses in each of his last three starts, Liriano was an impressive 8-0 from July 16-September 14 when the team grabbed control of the division.

"He has great stuff, and we've all seen it," Gardenhire said Tuesday. "He has pitched very, very well for us this year. You never know how anybody is going to handle these situations and starts in the postseason. That's why you put them out there and let them go. That's the fun of it, to see Liriano take the ball in Game 1."

These teams are certainly no stranger to one another come playoff time, as this will be the third Division Series matchup in the last eight years between the clubs. New York, though, has owned the Twins, sweeping last year's ALDS and winning all three series while posting a 9-2 mark in the 11 games contested.

New York won four of the six regular season matchups between these teams and since 2008, not including their playoff meeting last season, the Yankees have played the Twins 23 times and have gone 17-6 in those encounters.

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