Yankees 8, Twins 0
NEW YORK (AP) -- Chien-Ming Wang's pitching performance looked pretty impressive Tuesday night -- until he was outdone by a brand new teammate.
The last Yankees pitcher to strike out the side in his big-league debut was Stan Bahnsen on Sept. 9, 1966, at Boston, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Bahnsen set down Joe Foy, Carl Yastrzemski and Tony Conigliaro.
"I talked to myself: 'You want to stay here, you can stay here. Let's go,'" Ramirez said.
Wang (8-4) pitched four-hit ball for seven innings to win his fifth straight decision, and Robinson Cano hit a two-run homer.
Alex Rodriguez played third base for New York, one night after leaving the game with a strained left hamstring. The two-time MVP went 0-for-4 with a strikeout but looked comfortable in the field, starting an important double play with a fine pickup on the backhand side.
A-Rod was pulled after the sixth with the Yankees up by eight.
"He was fine," manager Joe Torre said. "I just took him out when the score got up there."
A resurgent Bobby Abreu had three hits for the second consecutive game, helping New York win for the fourth time in 13 tries. Derek Jeter had three hits and two RBIs, and Melky Cabrera added a two-run single.
"We're on our toes right now. That's good," Torre said. "We're trying to build something back here."
"He was pretty impressive," Yankees catcher Jorge Posada said. "Very good stuff."
Ramirez, who struck out 47 batters in 26 2/3 innings this season at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, was released by the Los Angeles Angels last year and spent much of 2006 in the independent United League.
"I thought he'd be a little more nervous than he appeared to be," Torre said.
The 26-year-old right-hander kept the lineup card as a souvenir and said he would give it to his father back home in the Dominican Republic.
"Last night everybody called me. My phone has been ringing nonstop," Ramirez said.
Torii Hunter was ejected by plate umpire Ron Kulpa in the eighth, ending a rough night for Minnesota's All-Star center fielder. He had been called out on strikes in the previous inning.
Hunter, in the dugout when he was tossed, charged out at Kulpa and screamed in the umpire's face, pointing and gesturing wildly while being restrained by a coach.
"I just snapped. It's frustrating. Sometimes it happens. I won't be the last guy to do that," Hunter said. "I guess I wanted to be thrown out. For me to go off like that, you know I'm upset. You know something is wrong."
The Twins, who have totaled one run while losing three straight games, dropped to 9-27 against New York in the regular season since the start of 2002, including 2-15 at Yankee Stadium.
"We're making too many mental mistakes and some physical mistakes," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We need to find a way to score some runs."
Minnesota was 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position, one night after going 0-for-7 in such situations.
Cano connected in the fourth off Carlos Silva (6-9), who won his previous two starts.
One night after Roger Clemens earned his 350th win, Wang won for the seventh time in eight decisions. He walked four, matching a season high, and struck out three.
"He wasn't as good as he usually is, but he kept fighting," Posada said.
Scott Proctor and Ramirez completed the five-hitter, New York's second shutout this season. Minnesota was blanked for the seventh time, most in the AL.
The Yankees have won consecutive games for the first time since June 16-17 against the Mets.
"We've been through tough times," Abreu said. "But we have a pretty good team to make a comeback."
Wang put himself in trouble in the fourth by walking three straight batters. The first one, Jason Bartlett, was promptly caught stealing on a strong throw by Posada. But two more walks and Morneau's single loaded the bases before Rodriguez started the key defensive play of the game.
Hunter hit a sharp grounder that A-Rod backhanded to start a 5-4-3 double play. First baseman Andy Phillips made a nice stretch and caught Cano's wide relay in the tip of his mitt, barely beating Hunter.
"That's really the play of the game because if we don't turn it there, they have a rally going," Posada said.
Torre said Rodriguez would probably be the DH on Wednesday afternoon. The slugger has played in every game this season. ... Bartlett had been 16-for-16 on stolen-base attempts this season. ... Wang has induced 21 groundball double plays, tied for most in the majors with Pittsburgh's Zach Duke. ... Jeter has seven hits in his last 12 at-bats.