Yankees starter Nathan Eovaldi and Twins starter Tyler Duffey had both struggled in June, so no one expected a pitchers duel, but that’s what happened through the first five innings. Unfortunately, Eovaldi unraveled in the sixth and the Yankees quiet bats weren’t able to muster any sort of comeback effort.
Eovaldi looked sharp through the first five innings, effectively mixing his fastball and splitter against the Twins, a team that was ranked sixth-worst in runs scored in all of baseball going into today. The only run scored through five innings was a solo shot by Danny Santana.
The sixth inning started with a single by former Yankee Eduardo Nunez. Immediately after, the Yankees got a quick out on a bad bunt by Robbie Grossman. Then Nunez was thrown out on a good throw by catcher Brian McCann. Only needing one more out to take the Yankees to the bottom of the sixth down one run, Eovaldi lost his control.
First, he walked Joe Mauer, then he hung a breaking pitch that Brian Dozier hit a couple of rows into left field to make the score 3-0. The Twins weren’t finished though. On a full count, Eovaldi hung another breaking pitch that Trevor Plouffe hit for a home run to left. Then, Max Kepler hit a home run to right, giving the Twins their third home run in a row and fourth of the game. Eovaldi finally got Eduardo Escobar to ground out to end the inning with the Yankees down 5-0.
Heading to the bottom of the sixth, the Yankees had yet to get a base runner against Duffey. But, the perfect game wouldn’t last because Aaron Hicks doubled to right with two outs. Then, Jacoby Ellsbury grounded out to end the inning. The Yankees never really threatened.
Luis Cessa, fresh from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, took over to start the seventh. Cessa got two outs before giving up a home run to Nunez and a walk to Grossman. The inning ended without any further damage though when Mauer grounded out to third. Cessa got two more outs in the top of the eighth before Richard Bleier came on to get the final out.
The only silver lining of the game occurred in the bottom of the eighth when the Yankees scored their lone run on a home run by Teixeira to right-center. Hopefully this means that he is healthy and ready to contribute as the starting first baseman the rest of the season.
A home run by Juan Centeno off of Kirby Yates in the top of the ninth was the only hit by either team in the rest of the game.
The Yankees offense looked weak and it’s hard to find any positives from this game. Even though the Yankees won the series, today’s game doesn’t give the team much confidence heading forward. Tomorrow night, the Yankees start a four game series at home against the Texas Rangers who currently have the most wins in the American League. Let’s hope the offense can do better than they did today.