A pitcher’s duel between Michael Pineda and Ervin Santana isn’t exactly the most likely scenario for a game in 2016. But today, that’s exactly what happened. Neither team’s offense could get much going. And even when the Yankees did take a late lead, they got a little help in doing so. However, this 2-1 win over the Twins counts in the win column just as much as any other.
After a clean first inning from Pineda, he immediately allowed a lead-off home run to Brian Dozier to start the second, giving the Twins an early 1-0 lead.
The Yankees had chances with runners on in both the first and fourth innings, but failed to capitalize each time. In the fifth inning, they finally took their chances. With two outs, Jacoby Ellsbury kept the inning alive with a single. After Brett Gardner also singled, Carlos Beltran brought Ellsbury home with yet another single. That tied the game at one.
Other than those two runs, the game was a pitcher’s duel. Considering who the pitchers were, you can decide whether that says more about them or the offenses they were facing. Pineda allowed just one run on two hits and a walk in his six innings of work, while striking out eight.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Yankees managed to scrounge together a run to take the lead. Alex Rodriguez and Brian McCann led off the inning with two-straight singles. Mark Teixeira put together a battling, ten-pitch at bat, but wound up striking out. However, the Yankees would get the go-ahead run thanks to some help from the Twins. Starlin Castro grounded into what would have been a force out at second. However, Eduardo Escobar couldn’t make the play, allowing all runners to reach safely, and scoring a pinch-running Aaron Hicks.
After a Didi Gregorius single, Chase Headley flew out, and McCann was thrown out trying to tag up and score on a questionable send. Despite that inning-ending double play, the Yankees were still up 2-1.
The Yankees had gotten scoreless innings out of Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller in the seventh and eighth. Aroldis Chapman followed suit in the ninth, giving the Yankees a second straight win over the Twins, moving them above .500.
Tomorrow, the Yankees will send Nathan Eovaldi to the mound as they go for a sweep of the Twins.