Yankees 3, Twins 1: Tanaka strong as Yankees outlast Twins, rain

Al Bello

Tanaka good at baseball things.

For a long portion of the game, the Yankees had all sorts of trouble trying to score runs. The Yankees wasted several opportunities to bust open a decent-sized lead. And when their bats did start to come around, the rain came. Thankfully, the runs they did score were enough thanks to that Masahiro Tanaka fellow. Tanaka threw eight strong innings as the Yankees beat the Twins 3-1.

In the first inning, the Twins picked up an early run. On the first pitch of the game, Brian Dozier grounded a ball to third. Kelly Johnson misplayed the ball, allowing Dozier to reach on an error. During the next at bat, Dozier was able to move to second on a Tanaka wild pitch. Eduardo Escobar wound up grounding out, but that allowed Dozier to go to third. Tanaka then struck out Joe Mauer and was one out away from escaping the jam. However, Josh Willingham singled to score Dozier. After the top of the first, the Twins led 1-0.

In the bottom of the first, the Yankees had a chance to get some runs themselves. But with the bases loaded and no one out, the Yankees somehow managed to come away with no runs.

After a few more RISP fails, the Yankees finally got on the board in the fourth inning. With two gone, Yangervis Solarte hit a solo home run to tie the game at one.

Following the Solarte home run, both teams struggled to push a run across. Tanaka stranded several runners, while Kevin Correia was doing the same thing for the Twins. Neither team would score another run until the eighth inning. One notable event for the Yankees was Brian Roberts pinch-hitting for Mark Teixeira in the sixth due to Teixeira wrist stuff.

A 1-2-3 eighth inning would be Tanaka's last. He went eight innings, allowing just four hits and two walks while striking out nine. (The Twins' run was unearned due to Johnson's error.) Tanaka was out there doing normal Tanak stuff.

With one out in the bottom of the eighth, Jacoby Ellsbury lined a single to center field. Roberts came up next. During Roberts' at bat, Ellsbury stole second and was then able to move to third when Josmil Pinto's throw got into center field. Roberts ended up working a walk to bring Brian McCann to the plate. McCann was the key culprit in the RISP fail in the first inning, but he made up for it this time. McCann laced a double to right field, scoring Ellsbury and moving Roberts to third. The Twins elected to intentionally walk Alfonso Soriano to set up the double play. But after the Soriano walk, the rain started to come down harder, causing the tarp to be brought on.

After a half-hour rain delay, the game resumed and Solarte came back up to the plate. After Solarte popped up, Kelly Johnson came up. Johnson grounded one to second. Dozier made a diving stop, but had no play at first. Johnson was safe and a run scored to make it 3-1 Yankees. Brendan Ryan couldn't add to the lead, but the Yankees went to the bottom of the ninth with a lead.

David Robertson came in for the top of the ninth to try and nail down a win. One runner reached after Solarte couldn't make a play on a grounder. However, Robertson struck out the side to seal a 3-1 win for the Yankees.

The Yankees and Twins finish up their series in the Bronx tomorrow at 1:05 eastern. Chase Whitley will go for the Yankees, while our old friend Phil Hughes gets the start for the Twins. Hopefully we get to see some Hughes' Face.

Box score.

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