Rapid Reaction: Yankees 3, Twins 2

July, 3, 2013
7/03/13
11:05
PM ET


MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Twins have turned out to be most hospitable hosts for the Yankees this week. On Tuesday, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire gave Mariano Rivera a super-cool rocking chair and on Wednesday, he pretty much gave the Yankees a game by electing to pitch to the hottest hitter on the planet in a no-brainer intentional walk situation. End result? A 3-2 win for the Yankees, a three-game winning streak with a chance to sweep in tomorrow's series finale, and all of a sudden, that Lost Weekend in Baltimore seems like a long time ago.

What it means: That after nearly a month, the Yankees have won a series. The last time they did that was on June 9, when they took the third of four games from the Mariners in Seattle. Since then, they are 7-18 and had lost or tied five consecutive series.

Milestone victory: CC Sabathia picked up the 200th victory of his major league career on his second attempt, having blown a 3-0 lead last time out against the Orioles. Sabathia got stronger as the game went on, blowing a beauty of a 93 mph fastball past Ryan Doumit for the second out of the seventh inning.

Ribbie Cano: After Gardenhire made the head-scratching decision to pitch to Robinson Cano with two on, first base open and none out in the sixth, Cano made him pay by lining a double to right, scoring both runners and tying the game at 2-2. Cano is now hitting .608 on this road trip (14-for-23) with 10 RBIs in his past six games. Nice call, Gardy.

Fireworks night: The Twins hit the ball hard from the first inning on off Sabathia, but he limited them to just one run on a walk to Brian Dozier and an RBI double by Joe Mauer in the second before Trevor Plouffe belted a rocket over the center-field fence with two out in the fifth to give the Twins a 2-0 lead. CC has now allowed 18 home runs this season, second most in baseball behind Jeremy Guthrie, Tommy Milone and Dan Haren, all of whom have surrendered 19. Sabathia did not allow his 18th homer last season until Sept. 3.

Workhorse: Despite being hit hard early and needing 83 pitches to get through four innings, CC settled down to give the Yankees seven innings, throwing a season-high 121 pitches, and striking out nine, including five over his last three innings of work.

What's next: We say farewell to the Twinkies on the Fourth of July, David Phelps (5-5, 4.95) versus RHP Kyle Gibson (1-0, 3.00), first pitch at 2:10 p.m.
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

WINS LEADER
Masahiro Tanaka
WINS ERA SO IP
13 2.77 141 136
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Ellsbury .271
HRB. McCann 23
RBIB. McCann 75
RB. Gardner 87
OPSB. Gardner .749
ERAH. Kuroda 3.71
SOH. Kuroda 146