Rapid Reaction: Yankees 8, Twins 2

September, 26, 2012
9/26/12
4:06
PM ET
What it means: That the Yankees get a do-over to accomplish what they could have accomplished Tuesday night, winning what could turn out to be a separation game between them and the Baltimore Orioles in the AL East race. But even without a result yet from the Orioles-Blue Jays game -- they play at 7:05 -- the Yankees' 8-2 win over the Twinkies gives them their biggest lead over the Birds, two games, since Sept. 2.

Ace high: CC Sabathia strung together his second straight ace-like performance, and this time he even got a win for his troubles. Five days ago, CC threw eight scoreless innings at the Oakland Athletics and came away with a no-decision after Rafael Soriano blew the save, but Wednesday, his eight innings of six-hit, two-run, 10K ball were good enough to earn him No. 14, helped immensely by the Yankees' six-run third inning. Still, the big fellow seems to be, er, rounding into form as the postseason beckons.

Cano can do: Robinson Cano, who had three singles Tuesday night, got the ball rolling Wednesday with a line shot to right that twisted Ben Revere into knots and flew over his glove for a two-run double that gave the Yankees a 2-1 third-inning lead. Cano added a ninth-inning double and now has five hits in his past eight at-bats.

Left-handed complement: The Yankees' lefty-heavy lineup exploded against left-hander Brian Duensing, smacking four hits, including Cano's double and a two-run triple by Curtis Granderson, in their six-run third inning. Lefties Chris Dickerson and Ichiro Suzuki singled, Derek Jeter walked, Cano doubled, Nick Swisher (batting right-handed) singled in a run and Granderson capped the lefty uprising with his shot into the RF corner.

Dicky dinger: Dickerson, getting a rare start in left field, tacked on two runs for the Yankees with a sixth-inning home run, his second of the season, a line shot off the facing of the second deck in right. The blast made it 8-1 Yankees.

Welcome back, Gardy: Brett Gardner stepped on a major league ballfield for the first time since April 17 when Joe Girardi sent him out to left as a defensive replacement for Ichiro in the bottom of the ninth inning. The ball did not get hit his way.

Relax, DiMag: Jeter's 19-game hitting streak came to an end on an 0-for-4 and a walk.

Brain lock: With one out in the fifth and Twins on first and second, Eric Chavez fielded what looked like an inning-ending double play grounder -- and began jogging off the field after getting the force at third. When Chavez realized what he had done, he grimaced in embarrassment, an image that was immortalized on the jumbo video screen in center field, providing Twins fans with their only moment of pure delight all day. And the gaffe turned out to be meaningless when the next hitter grounded out to end the inning without any damage being done.

Good morning, good afternoon, good evening: In his first three at-bats against Sabathia, Twins DH Joe Mauer saw nine pitches -- strike one, strike two and strike three. In his fourth at-bat, Mauer took no chances, swinging at the first pitch and grounding out to second.

Did you know Deduno?: Well, if not, Twins starter Samuel Deduno didn't stick around long enough to properly introduce himself Wednesday. Despite working on a no-hitter, Deduno left in the second inning with what the Twins announced as "left eye irritation." Deduno faced six batters, struck out two, walked two, picked off one, threw a ball for every strike and looked just wild enough to give the Yankees, who had never faced him, some trouble. But it was not to be. The 29-year-old right-hander was replaced by lefty Duensing, who unraveled the next inning.

What's next: Fly to Toronto, followed by the final road series of the regular season, a four-game set with the Blue Jays beginning Thursday night at the Rogers Centre. Pitching matchups for the weekend: Ivan Nova (12-7, 4.94) vs. RHP Brandon Morrow (8-7, 3.28) on Thursday; Hiroki Kuroda (14-11, 3.34) vs. RHP Chad Jenkins (0-2, 4.24) Friday night; Andy Pettitte (5-3, 2.71) vs. LHP Ricky Romero (9-14, 5.76) Saturday afternoon and Phil Hughes (16-13, 4.10) vs. RHP Henderson Alvarez (9-14, 4.91) on Sunday.
Wallace Matthews has covered New York sports since 1983 as a reporter, columnist, radio host and TV commentator. He covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com after working for Newsday, the New York Post, the New York Sun and ESPN New York 98.7 FM.
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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Jacoby Ellsbury
BA HR RBI R
.342 0 8 12
OTHER LEADERS
HRC. Beltran 5
RBIC. Beltran 13
RJ. Ellsbury 12
OPSC. Beltran .920
WM. Tanaka 3
ERAM. Tanaka 2.15
SOM. Tanaka 35

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