Rapid Reaction: Yankees 2, Twins 0
July, 13, 2013
By Kieran Darcy | ESPNNewYork.com
NEW YORK -- Here's a quick look at the New York Yankees' 2-0 win over the Minnesota Twins Friday night at Yankee Stadium:
First, the Yankees announced the bad news about Derek Jeter's quad. Then they started playing a game under rainfall that grew progressively worse.
Play was finally suspended at 8:42 p.m., with the game scoreless and one out in the bottom of the fourth inning.
When play resumed at 9:55 p.m., it was raining again after a brief respite. And it rained for most of the rest of the game. But a damp, dreary night in the Bronx at least ended on a happy note for the few fans who stuck around to see the conclusion of a 2-0 win.
What it means: The Yankees win the opener of their final series before the All-Star break. They improve to 51-42 and have won nine of their last 12 games. But they're still in fourth place in the American League East, six games behind the first-place Red Sox.
Surprise decision: When the game resumed, the Yankees were at the plate, and the Twins had a new pitcher on the mound: Righty Ryan Pressly replaced lefty Scott Diamond, who started for Minnesota.
However, Yankees manager Joe Girardi sent Hiroki Kuroda back to the mound for the top of the fifth, despite the 73-minute delay -- rather unusual considering the length of the stoppage.
Kuroda wasn't particularly sharp in his four innings prior to the delay. But he managed to post four zeroes, working around five hits and a walk, using 72 pitches. The Twins had a runner in scoring position in every frame, yet couldn't push one across.
He only pitched one more inning after the delay. And he again had a runner in scoring position after a two-out double by Joe Mauer, which was followed by a Justin Morneau walk. But then Kuroda induced Ryan Doumit to ground out to second on his 90th pitch of the night.
Girardi pulled Kuroda for Preston Claiborne in the top of the sixth, but by that time Kuroda was in line for his eighth win of the season (see below). Kuroda's ERA dropped to 2.65, which is tops in the American League.
At long last: The Yankees had just one hit off Diamond -- a single by Lyle Overbay. But they scored twice in the bottom of the fifth, off Pressly and Brian Duensing.
Luis Cruz led off the frame with a single, went to second on a bunt by Chris Stewart and was driven home on a Brett Gardner single. Then Gardner scored on a single by Robinson Cano (which pushed Cano over the .300 mark for the season). That was all the offense the Yanks would need.
Seventh heaven: Claiborne gave up back-to-back singles to open the top of the seventh, and then gave way to Boone Logan. The lanky lefty did throw a wild pitch, allowing the runners to advance to second and third. But Logan ended up striking out the side, including K's of Mauer and Morneau to end the threat.
David Robertson pitched a 1-2-3 eighth, with two strikeouts. Mariano Rivera collected career save No. 638 with a 1-2-3 ninth.
What's next: The middle game of this three-game series. It'll be Phil Hughes (4-8, 4.55) for the Yanks, opposed by fellow righty Samuel Deduno (4-4, 3.90). First pitch is at 1:05 p.m.