Early on, it looked like this game wasn't going to be close. The Yankees scored a bunch of early runs and Hiroki Kuroda cruised for the first few innings. But then Kuroda started to struggle and the Twins began chipping away. Thankfully, the early runs were enough and the Twins couldn't score the amount needed to complete the comeback. In then end, the Yankees came away with a 9-7 win and a series win against the Twins.
In the first inning, the Yankees doubled their offensive output from yesterday's game. Brett Gardner led off the game with a walk. That was followed by a Derek Jeter single. Jacoby Ellsbury was robbed of an extra-base hit when Sam Fuld made a leaping catch at the wall. Gardner was able to tag up and move to third on the play. Mark Teixeira then singed, scoring Gardner. Brian McCann came up next and he too hit one toward the wall in center. Fuld couldn't make the catch on that one and it dropped in for a double. Jeter scored but Teixeira was thrown out at the plate. Despite that, it was now 2-0 Yankees.
The Yankees went on to add even more in the second inning. Brian Roberts, Ichiro Suzuki and Kelly Johnson led off the inning with three straight singles. That loaded the bases with no one out. Gardner would pop up for the first out. Jeter then a fly ball deep to center field. Fuld caught it, but Roberts tagged up and scored. Ellsbury then doubled the Yankees' lead when he hit a three-run home run. That made it 6-0 Yankees.
In the fourth inning, the Yankees scored more. Ichiro and Johnson led off the inning with back-to-back singles. Gardner then flied out, but both runners moved up. Jeter came up next and singled home Ichiro to make it 7-0. Ellsbury then grounded into a force out at second, but that scored Johnson. Teixeira added a single that moved Ellsbury to third. Twins' pitcher Anthony Swarzak then balked, scoring Ellsbury. When the inning finally ended, it was 9-0 Yankees.
In the bottom of the fourth, Kuroda (possibly in a catatonic state due to the run support) gave up a couple hits that got the Twins on the board. With one out, Josh Willingham drew a walk. Oswaldo Arcia then grounded one to Kuroda. Kuroda's throw to first was off and Willingham scored on an error. Arcia tried advancing to second but was thrown out. Kurt Suzuki and Trevor Plouffe then hit back-to-back doubles, the second of which scored a run. Chris Colabello then homered to cut into the Yankees' lead even more. Kuroda eventually got out of it, but the score was now 9-4.
After getting two outs in the sixth, Kuroda allowed a single to Plouffe, and that would be it for Hirok. He went 5.2 innings, allowing four runs on seven hits and two walks. It was going pretty well early on for Kuroda, but the last couple innings were a little disappointing. Adam Warren came in and got a strikeout to end the inning.
Warren stayed in the game for the seventh inning and Twins cut into the Yankees' lead even more. With one out in the inning, Brian Dozier picked up a single. Eduardo Nunez followed that with another single. Dozier safely made it to third on the play, but Ichiro tried to throw him out from right field. The throw allowed Nunez to advance to second. Chris Parmalee then grounded out, but it scored Dozier and moved Nunez to third. Warren got out of the jam after that, but the score was now 9-5.
Jim Miller came in to pitch the bottom of the eighth. After getting one out, he allowed a solo home run to Plouffe. That made it 9-6 Yankees.
After the Yankees couldn't add to their lead in the top of the ninth, David Robertson came in to try and get the save. After Robertson got the first out, it got a little messy. Robertson allowed back-to-back singles to Nunez and Parmalee. He struck out Willingham for out number two, but Arcia followed that with a single to make it 9-7. With the winning run now at the plate, Robertson got Suzuki to ground out to finally end the game. The late innings weren't pretty, but the Yankees won 9-7 and took three out of four against the Twins. I'll take it.
The Yankees will now head off to Cleveland to take on the Indians. First pitch will be at 7:10 eastern. The expected starting pitchers are Shane Green and Justin Masterson.