Yankee offense disappears after initial burst

April, 16, 2012
4/16/12
11:28
PM ET

AP Photo/Seth Wenig
The Yankees' offense started with a bang. The rest of the game was a thud.

After hitting back-to-back homers to open the game and tallying three runs in the first five at-bats, the Bomber bats went cold for the rest of the night in a 7-3 loss to Minnesota. The Yankees had four hits in the first five at-bats but just five the rest of the game.

"To be able to come back (from 2-0) and start the game off with back-to-back home runs, that was pretty cool," right fielder Nick Swisher said. "It was kind of downhill from there."

The Yankees started the game in dramatic fashion, with Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson hitting back-to-back home runs off Carl Pavano to tie the score at 2-2 in a matter of minutes. The consecutive home runs to lead off a game was the first time the Yankees had accomplished the feat since Jeter and Robinson Cano did so on Sept. 23, 2005.

Mark Teixeira added an RBI single to right three batters later, but the bats fell silent after that. When the Yankees put two men on the fifth, trailing 4-3, Swisher and Raul Ibanez could not come through with hits and Minnesota took advantage.

The bottom of the lineup was particularly ineffective, with the No. 6-9 hitters batting 1-for-16.

"That was just a bad game. We fired off early and couldn't get anything going," Swisher said. "We hit the ball hard and we have a good-hitting team. We couldn't plate as many runs as we would have liked to do."

Manager Joe Girardi said that Pavano, who beat the Yankees for the first time in his career with seven solid innings, was able to get the ball down as the game went on. He was pleased with his teams at-bats, adding that there were hard-hit balls but they were all on the ground. The Yankees had just four base runners over Pavano's final 23 batters.

Postgame, Jeter tipped his hat to the former Yankee. He said Pavano is able to keep hitters off balance by mixing it up and backed his manager in saying he thought the team hit some balls hard although there were no results to show.

"He pitched well. He mixed it up. He knows how to pitch," Jeter said. "Carl's always known how to pitch. The only problem he's ever had is his health. When he's healthy, he pitches well. It's just one inning, we scored three runs, but he settled down after that."

Coming into the game, the Twins had lost 28 of the last 33 games in the Bronx, and after the first inning, it seemed like loss No. 29 was horizon. Those back-to-back homers, though, would be the highlight of the Yankees' night and the Twins offense instead went on the attack.

"You hope (the home runs will translate to a big night) but it was the first inning, we know he's going to make some adjustments," Jeter said. "He left a couple balls up there in the first inning but after that he settled down. You hope every night is going to be a big night, but he deserves a lot of credit. He pitched well."

Matt Ehalt

ESPN New York contributor

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Masahiro Tanaka
WINS ERA SO IP
12 2.51 135 129
OTHER LEADERS
BAB. Gardner .283
HRM. Teixeira 18
RBIM. Teixeira 50
RB. Gardner 68
OPSB. Gardner .816
ERAM. Tanaka 2.51
SOM. Tanaka 135