It was Ricky Nolasco and the Minnesota Twins facing the Yankees and Vidal Nuno at the Stadium in the first of a weekend three game set. With both pitchers sporting an ERA north of five, runs were expected to not be in short supply but the Yankees like to defy expectations from time to time. It also happened to be the momentous return of former Yankees star Eduardo Nunez.
The Twins were the first to get a run across in the top of the second as Oswaldo Arcia deposited a Nuno offering into the right field seats for a solo home run to make it 1-0 Twins. A Jacoby Ellsbury double in the bottom of the third brought Brett Gardner in to score to knot the game up at one a piece. The tie would not last long as Nuno was victimized twice by dingers in the fourth. Josh Willingham lead off the inning with a solo shot and then was joined by Trevor Plouffe who hit a two-run homer to center to make it 4-1 in favor of the Twins. The Yankees blew scoring opportunities in both the fifth and sixth with bad baserunning. In the fifth, Derek Jeter singled with Gardner on second and tried to advance to second anticipating Gardner would head home. When that didn't occur Jeter was hung out to dry and Gardner was thrown out in the confusion . In the sixth, Brian Roberts was thrown out at home trying to score on a Yangervis Solarte single. Blunders abound!
Nuno was able to settle down and make it all the way to the seventh inning when he was relieved by Preston Claiborne. Claiborne finished the seventh unscathed, but then allowed an RBI single to Kurt Suzuki in the eighth . Then he did the inexplicable by allowing Nunez to single home another run to make it 6-1 Twins. And that was more than enough as the Yankees did little of note to close out the game.
It was an almost serviceable effort from Vidal Nuno, who has been bad more often than not. The Yankees are stuck with him for the time being, so you just have to swallow the pill and hope for the best. Not getting destroyed is probably something the team would gladly accept at this point. Of course, none of that matters when the offense gets stymied by a pitcher who has been one of the very worst in all the majors this season. This team seems to have a knack for being the best thing to happen to a struggling pitcher. It's like some sort of superpower. It would have been nice to build on a lovely series win against the Cardinals, but we can't have nice things.
The teams will matchup again tomorrow at 1:05 PM. Kevin Correia and Masahiro Tanaka are your probables.