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Curtis Granderson hit three home runs in a 5-for-5 game and knocked in four of the Yankees' seven runs in the Twins' 7-6 loss on Thursday night. Yankees starter Phil Hughes picked up the win and Mariano Rivera recorded his third save of the season. Twins starter Anthony Swarzak lasted only 2.2 innings and was pinned with the loss.
After a high scoring start, in which the Yankees held a 6-4 lead, things settled down in the latter seven innings. After Granderson hit his third home run of the game in just the fourth inning, the Twins responded with a two-run home run off the bat of Ryan Doumit in the sixth to pull within a run. The Yankees' pen threw 3.2 shutout innings, though, to seal the series split.
Doumit plated four runs in the game and Danny Valencia had two runs batted in on two hits.
Minnesota continues their road trip with three against the Rays this weekend before heading home for six straight.
The Twins have a chance to take three of four in New York on Thursday night, but Yankees' center fielder Curtis Granderson is making it very hard on them. In three at bats, Granderson has hit not one, not two, but three home runs and the Yankees have a 7-6 lead heading into the bottom half of the sixth.
Granderson hit 41 home runs for the Yankees last year (21 at home and 20 on the road), but has never had a three home run game. He did have four two home run games last year, though.
The Twins scored four unearned runs in the top of the first inning off Phil Hughes, but the Yankees responded with three in the bottom half, three more in the second, and another in the fourth on Granderson's third home run. Twins starter Anthony Swarzak lasted just 2.2 innings in allowing six runs on eight hits.
In the top of the sixth inning, Ryan Doumit hit a two-run homer to cut the Twins' deficit to one.
The Minnesota Twins (4-8) look for their third win in four nights Thursday against the New York Yankees (6-6) at Yankee Stadium. The game will be televised locally on FS-N and the first pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. ET.
Twins starting pitcher Anthony Swarzak (0-2, 3.75 ERA) seeks his first win of the season, while his counterpart, Phil Hughes (0-2, 9.00 ERA) is also winless. Swarzak has the lowest ERA on Minnesota's pitching staff, however, the offense has only produced one run in each of his two starts this season.
Following Thursday's game, Minnesota heads out to Tampa Bay to begin a three-game set with the Rays on Friday.
The Twins totaled 13 hits as a team, and were paced by designated hitter Justin Morneau's 3-for-4 night from the plate that included a pair of home runs and three RBI. The strong game moved Morneau's season average to .279, and also boosted his slugging percentage all the way up to .605. No. 9 batter Alexi Casilla also turned in a 3-for-4 night at the dish and stole his second base of the season.
Picking up the win for Minnesota was starter Jason Marquis, who went five innings and scattered seven hits with four runs allowed. Marquis bested New York's highly-touted offseason acquisition Hiroki Kuroda, who himself left the game after throwing just 81 pitches in 4.1 innings, falling to 1-2 on the year.
With two wins in three days over the Yankees, Minnesota will send 26-year-old starter Anthony Swarzak to the mound on Thursday in the series finale.
The Twins jumped out to an immediate 4-0 advantage after a four-run first inning that was capped off by two-run bomb from first baseman Justin Morneau, but the Yankees rallied back with three runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning to cut the lead to 4-3. A Sean Burroughs RBI single in third, and then another Morneau home run in the fifth increased the Twins' lead to 6-4.
With 10 hits as a team through just five innings, the Twins have been locked-in at the plate all evening, and have already forced New York starter Hiroki Kuroda to the bench after just 81 pitches and 4.1 innings. Knowing New York's penchant for making things tough on opposing bullpens down the stretch however, it will take steady hand from the mound for Minnesota to feel safe with just a two-run lead.
The Minnesota Twins have designated second baseman Luke Hughes for assignment in order to open up a roster spot for starting pitcher Jason Marquis, according to Tom Pellisero of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Hughes, who has appeared in four games this season, is out of minor-league options. So, he would have to clear waivers before the Twins could send him to triple-A Rochester.
Marquis, who signed with the Twins for one year and $3 million, is set to make his season debut on Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium against the New York Yankees. The 12-year veteran has a career-record of 104-98 and an ERA of 4.55.
This season, Hughes was 2-for-10 with four strikeouts and two RBI. He has played in 102 games over the past three seasons for the Twins.
If the Minnesota Twins want to have a shot at winning their first series in quite a while at Yankee Stadium or at least earn a tie in the four game series, they're going to need to avoid having any more two ejection, two and two third inning starting pitching performances. Tuesday's game featured both gaffes and the Twins lost to the Yankees 8-3 as a result after taking game one of the series.
Game three of the series will feature journeyman and New York native Jason Marquis on the mound for the Twins. After missing a large chunk of spring training, this will be Jason's first start of the year. He'll take on Hiroki Kuroda for the Yankees. In his two starts so far this season, Kuroda has gone 1-1 with a 2.63 ERA in games against the Tampa Bay Rays and Los Angeles Angels.
The offense will need to wake up for the Twins if Marquis can't put together a great start, their win in game one came when they scored seven runs.
The game will be at Yankee Stadium at 7:05 p.m. ET.
Already dealing with injuries to three of their starting pitchers, the Minnesota Twins would have liked to see Francisco Liriano evoke some hope by rebounding from his first start and throwing well against the New York Yankees on Tuesday night, but the lefty only lasted 2.1 innings in giving up five runs en route to his second loss of the season.
Liriano (0-2, 11.91 ERA) lasted longer than his skipper Ron Gardenhire and teammate Denard Span, though, who were both ejected in the top half of the third inning in the middle of Span's at bat. Clete Thomas replaced Span and promptly doubled in a run and later scored on a Jamey Carroll single to give the Twins an early 3-1 lead.
Liriano gave the lead right back in the third, though, as the Yankees scored all they would need, although they would add a run in the fourth, fifth and seventh.
Josh Willingham homered in the second inning for the Twins, who had only five hits and just one after the third inning against Yankees' starter CC Sabathia. Sabathia threw seven-plus innings and recorded his first win of the 2012 season.
Minnesota and New York will play the third of a four-game series on Wednesday night with first pitch slated for 6:05 p.m. CT.
The Minnesota Twins picked up a rare win at Yankee Stadium on Monday night and will now look to make it two straight. Prior to last night, the Twins had won just five of their last 33 games in the Bronx.
On Tuesday, the Twins will also look to change their luck against CC Sabathia, who has posted a 2.98 ERA in 30 career starts against Minnesota. Sabathia will be looking for his first win this year after receiving no-decisions in his first two starts.
But it won't matter how Sabathia does if Francisco Liriano can't get one track for Minnesota. He has gotten off to a shaky start this season, allowing 10 runs and 20 baserunners over his first nine innings.
The game between the Twins and Yankees is scheduled to begin at 6:00 CT.
The Minnesota Twins saw some familiar power from the M&M portion of their lineup and defeated the New York Yankees in the first of four at Yankee Stadium on Monday night, 7-3.
Joe Mauer doubled twice en route to a three-hit game and Justin Morneau, making his debut at first base this season, hit a towering home run in the sixth inning to lead the Twins past the Yankees. Carl Pavano got the win against his former team in throwing seven strong innings and striking out six. He did not allow a run after giving up three in the bottom of the first.
Minnesota scored twice in the first, twice in the fifth, once in the sixth and twice more in the eighth. Every single hitter in the lineup had a hit tonight.
Game 2 of the series will be Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. ET.
Justin Morneau is making his season debut at first base tonight against the New York Yankees and he appears to have reverted to his pre-injuries hitting form. Through six, Morneau has two hits, including a solo home run in the top of the sixth, and the Twins are leading the Yanks 5-3.
The Twins hopped on Yankees pitcher Freddy Garcia early, scoring twice in the first. After the Yankees responded by taking the lead in the bottom half, the Twins scored twice more in the fifth and then Morneau's run in the sixth.
Carl Pavano got the nod on the bump for the Twins against his former team and has settled down nicely since giving up three runs in the first inning. He has allowed seven hits and struck out four.
Morneau played sparingly at first base during spring training, his last time coming on March 13. The Twins are moving slowly forward with Morneau due to recent concussion syndrome issue. Via Tom Pellisero of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities:
Doctors told him that being the DH would lessen his chances of getting worn out, which could lead to the return of the concussion symptoms that have plagued him in recent seasons.
In 34 at-bats this season, Morneau is hitting .206 with one home run and two RBI.
The Minnesota Twins kick off a four-game series against the New York Yankees on Monday.