Yankees 6, Twins 5: Brian Roberts can hit?

Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees take their second game in a row behind some terrific hitting from...Brian Roberts and Francisco Cervelli?

Chase Whitley took the hill for the Yankees today, facing off against Kyle Gibson and the Twins for the Fourth of July.  After scoring seven runs against Twins' ace Phil Hughes and snapping a five-game losing streak last night, the Yankees offense picked up right where it left off: Brett Gardner led the game off with a triple, and Brian Roberts immediately knocked him home with a double (the first of three on the afternoon).  After Jacoby Ellsbury grounded out, Mark Teixeira hit a double of his own to score Roberts, and Tex himself would find his way home after a sacrifice fly from Carlos Beltran.  After the dust had settled, the Yankees found themselves up 3-0, and Whitley had a lead to work with before he ever took the mound.

Whitley unfortunately wasted no time giving some ground back: Brian Dozier hit a leadoff home run to start the game for the Twins.  While Whitley did get out of the inning without surrendering any further damage (although two more runners would reach base), a rough first inning was just the beginning of Whitley's troubles.

The Yankees got to Gibson again in the second.  After Francisco Cervelli doubled to open the inning, he moved to third on Kelly Johnson's groundout and then scored on Brendan Ryan's sac fly to center.  But the Bronx Bombers weren't done yet - Gardner worked a walk, Roberts hit another double, and both scored on Ellsbury's lazy liner to shallow right, giving the Yankees a 6-1 lead.

After another three-run inning from the Yankees, the Twins responded with yet another leadoff solo shot, this one off the bat of Chris Colabello.  Whitley limited the damage after that and managed to get out of the second having just allowed two runs total, but the Twins would tack on two more in the third.  Oswaldo Arcia tripled with two outs in the inning, scoring Kendrys Morales from first.  Arcia himself crossed the plate when Trevor Plouffe spanked a single up the middle, and while Whitley got the third out after that, the Twins had cut the lead down to two, and Whitley had seen his last bit of action for the afternoon.

Both bullpens performed terrifically after the two starters were knocked out early (Gibson after two innings and Whitley after three).  Samuel Deduno, who replaced Gibson, pitched four and two thirds scoreless innings for the Twins, and David Huff threw three scoreless innings of his own.  The bats came back to life once more against Dellin Betances, of all people, who gave up a run in the eighth.  But he kept the Yankees ahead before handing the ball of to David Robertson, who shut the door on the Twins (although not before giving up a two-out double which made things more interesting than they needed to be).

The Yankees play tomorrow at two.  David Phelps will take the hill for New York, while righty Yohan Pino will go for the Twins.

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