The Yankees had everything working for them on Friday night. A great pitching performance combined with several hot bats? That’s a recipe for a good win. After a 35 minute rain delay, the Yankees beat the Twins by a score of 8 - 2.
Following a rough start against the Tigers last week, Masahiro Tanaka rebounded with style on Friday night. The Yankees right-hander held the Twins to just one run in eight innings. He allowed seven hits while striking out five on 110 pitches. That lowered his season ERA to 2.91. Tanaka has been pretty great all season and Friday was no exception.
The lone run came in the second inning, one of only two times that Tanaka looked like he was in trouble. He had baserunners on second and third with no outs. Max Kepler drove in Trevor Plouffe with an RBI groundout to put Minnesota on the board. Tanaka then struck out Kurt Suzuki and got Byron Buxton to foul out to first to limit the damage.
Minnesota left-hander Pat Dean, on the other hand, struggled right out of the gate. The Yankees took him for four runs in the first inning. Jacoby Ellsbury lead things off with single. He scored on an RBI double by Rob Refsnyder. Carlos Beltran followed with a two-run home run to make it 3-0 Yankees, with no outs. That’s his 17th home run on the season. Didi Gregorious drove Starlin Castro home with an RBI single. A double play by Austin Romine ended the inning.
Dean exited the game after allowing seven runs in 2.1 innings. The Twins bullpen had a long night. Romine added to the Yankees lead in the third inning with a two-run RBI double off of right-hander Neil Ramirez, who went for 1.2 innings. Taylor Rogers tossed two scoreless innings, while Kevin Jepsen, Buddy Boshers, and Michael Tonkin each pitched scoreless frames.
Each batter in the Yankees starting lineup picked up a hit. It’s a good night when everyone joins the party. Chase Headley and Refsnyder had two hits apiece, while Beltran swatted three. Ike Davis came off the bench to pinch run for Beltran before taking over at first. He also had a base hit in his only at bat. Ronald Torreyes took over for Headley in the eight inning and worked a walk.
Some left overs: Nick Goody closed things out in the ninth inning. He gave up a solo home run to Eduardo Escobar, his first on the season. Gregorious picked up his third stolen base on the season in the third inning. And lastly, it’s the 150th anniversary of General Mills, so there were fireworks behind Target Field for a good portion of the later innings.
The Yankees go for the series win tomorrow afternoon. It will be Michael Pineda against Ricky Nolasco at 2:10 PM EST. That’s going to end up being a pitcher’s duel, isn’t it?