CC Sabathia started in the series finale against the Twins. He was not good. And if that wasn't enough, the defense let him down too. The two combined to put the Yankees in a big hole they couldn't get out of, as the Twins came away with a 10-4 win.
The Twins got on the board first with a couple runs in the second. Ryan Doumit and Trevor Plouffe led off the inning with two straight singles. Sabathia then struck out Aaron Hicks, and got Clete Thomas to fly out. Doumit managed to tag up and go to third on Thomas' fly ball. The move to third was big, as he was able to score easily on Jamey Carroll's single. Plouffe moved to third, and then scored himself when Pedro Florimon singled, making it 2-0. CC finally got out of the inning when Brian Dozier lined out, but the Yankees were in a hole already.
The Yankees had a chance to answer back in the bottom of the second. They had two on with one out and then the bases loaded with two, but couldn't bring anyone home.
Some crappy defense cost the Yankees another couple runs in the third. With one out, Justin Morneau hit a fly ball into left field, that Robinson Cano nearly made a play on but couldn't quite. Cano had a long way to run to on a ball which should've been Vernon Wells'. Two batters later, Eduardo Nunez's throw to first was high, on a grounder which should've been the third out. Instead that kept the inning alive for Aaron Hicks, who took a Sabathia pitch over the left field wall for a three-run home run. That extended the Twins lead to 5-0.
The Yankees got on the board themselves in the bottom of the third. Ichiro Suzuki led off the inning with a single. Zoilo Almonte came up next and he grounded one to second base. Brian Dozier couldn't make the play on the ball, allowing Almonte to reach and Ichiro to go to third. Cano then singled on a ball that just went past Dozier's glove. That got the Yankees on the board and made it 5-1. Travis Hafner nearly kept it going with another single, but Morneau made a nice diving stop on the ball and got the force out at second. Wells then hit a fly out to left field. Almonte tagged up and went for home, but Clete Thomas' throw got him at the plate to end the inning.
And then the Twins added even more runs in the fourth. Carroll drew a lead off walk. Two batters later, Dozier hit a ball into center field. Ichiro couldn't make the catch and the ball took a weird bounce and went past Wells who was running in from right. That allowed Carroll to go to third and Dozier to second for a double. Maurer then drew a walk to load the bases, which brought up Morneau. Morneau singled on a shallow pop up, that CC couldn't make the catch on, coming off the mound. That scored a run and made it 6-1. Lyle Overbay then added to the defense horror show when he misplayed Ryan Doumit's grounder and allowed it to make it into right field. They got Doumit in a rundown for the second out, but two runs scored on the play. Plouffe struck out to end the inning, but it was now 8-1.
The Yankees chipped into that deficit somewhat in the bottom of the fourth. They loaded the bases with no outs with Overbay singling, Nunez walking and Luis Cruz getting hit by a pitch. Chris Stewart then nearly grounded into a double play on the first pitch, but Pedro Florimon couldn't get a throw off to first. That scored Overbay. Ichiro Suzuki came up next and also nearly grounded into a double play, but he beat out the throw to first. That scored Nunez and made it 8-3.
Sabathia's crappy day was done after the fourth inning as Preston Claiborne came out to pitch the fifth. Claiborne threw a 1-2-3 inning and turned it over to Adam Warren for the sixth.
Ichiro cut into the Twins' lead a little bit, when he led off the seventh with a home run, making it 8-4.
Warren pitched two scoreless innings in the sixth and seventh, and came back out for the eighth. He struck out Carroll before allowing a double to Florimon. Dozier then doubled on a grounder that Cano got to, but couldn't quite get a glove on. The ball deflected off Cano and into center field. That allowed Florimon to score and made it 9-4. Boone Logan came in and got the last two outs of that inning.
The Yankees offense had another scoreless eighth inning, before Joba Chamberlain came in for the ninth. Chamberlain loaded the bases, before a passed ball from Stewart allowed a run to score. Joba the issued a walk to Florimon, which loaded the bases yet again. He finally got out of the inning by striking out Dozier, but did absolutely nothing to improve any trade value he had.
Joe Girardi sent up Austin Romine as a pinch hitter for Stewart in the ninth (no seriously, he did), but Romine promptly struck out. Ichiro kept the game alive by legging out a infield single. Glen Perkins then struck out Almonte. Cano hit a two-out single to keep the game alive still, but Hafner flied out to mercifully end that dumpsterfire of a game. The Twins came away with a 10-4 win.
The Yankees begin a much needed break as the All-Star Game festivities begin. Robinson Cano will take part in the Home Run Derby tomorrow and will be joined by Mariano Rivera for the game on Tuesday.