- Matt Ehalt, ESPN New York contributor
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Digest this statistic: Backup catcher Chris Stewart has more RBIs in just seven at-bats than Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano do in 11 games.
Rodriguez has two RBIs and Cano one this season. Stewart, on the other hand, drove in a career-best three runs to power the Yankees to a 8-3 win over the Twins on Tuesday night.
"Not only one of my best nights, but it was in Yankee Stadium, of all places," said Stewart, who entered the night a career .197 hitter with just three home runs and 13 RBI in his six-year career.
AP Photo/Seth Wenig
Chris Stewart's two-run single in the third inning gave the Yankees a 4-3 lead.
"Being in Yankee Stadium in pinstripes, it's awesome. It's definitely a moment I'm not going to forget."
The Yankees acquired Stewart from the Giants at the end of spring training. He replaced the popular Francisco Cervelli, who was demoted to AAA, which brought extra pressure.
Tuesday was just Stewart's second start on the season and he entered the game with just three at-bats on the year. After failing with runners on second and third and no outs in the second, he rocketed a two-run single to left in the third against Francisco Liriano that put the Yankees up for good at 4-3 and knocked the lefty out of the game.
In the seventh, Stewart again singled and this time drove in Brett Gardner to boost the lead to 8-3. His two hits were part of a season-high 13 knocks.
"I told him that is the biggest hit we had all year," Gardner said of the go-ahead single. "He was the player of the game."
In addition to his great night at the plate, Stewart also called a good game behind the plate and helped CC Sabathia to his first win of the season. After a rough start, Sabathia retired 13 hitters in a row at one point and the Twins managed just four hits against the southpaw in 7 1/3 innings. The Twins' final 17 batters didn't record a hit.
"The hitting is always a bonus," Stewart said. "My goal is to get out there and get the starting pitchers deep into the game without as many as run as possible. That was my goal tonight. Unfortunately, we gave up a couple early with CC, but then it was time to bear down and we know our offense is going to come around eventually."
While Stewart arrived April 4, just two days before the season, he's already acclimated with his new team. Having been in the organization in previous years, he knows how certain guys like to throw and knows the scouting reports. He said it's now just a matter of developing relationships with the pitchers and building from there.
His last stint with the Yankees last just one game in the majors in 2008, and Stewart hopes he's in for the long haul this time around.
"I'm looking to stay the whole season and go into the playoffs with this team and do some damage there," he said.
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