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Yankees 5, Twins 2: Singles, Sabathia seal sixth series victory

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A quality start and hits with men on base lead to another Yankee victory

MLB: Minnesota Twins at New York Yankees
You can’t see the ball, but it’s hitting him...you know where
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

That felt like the longest nine-inning game of the year. I have ZERO data to back that up, it’s pure gut feeling. At the end of it, the Yankees walked out on top, with a 5-2 win over the Twins.

CC Sabathia was looking to rebound from a grim September, and he did so pretty effectively. He ran into early trouble, as the bunt-happy Twins loaded the bases with nobody out in the first inning. A double play and ground ball later, the inning was over. The Twinkies pushed a run across on the DP, but all things considered the inning ended well.

Aside from that and a Max Kepler home run, Sabathia was solid all night. He ended with yet another quality start, going six innings allowing two runs, and striking out five. Along the way, he claimed third position all time in strikeouts by a southpaw, and now trails just Steve Carlton and Randy Johnson. Pretty exclusive company.

Offensively, the Yankees had kind of a funny night. Much has been made about their prowess as a home run hitting team, to the extent that some have even tracked their record in games they don’t hit dingers in. There were no long balls tonight, but the Bronx Bombers had a pretty good offensive day. Brett Gardner drove in two, on a double and a single, and Aaron Judge JUST missed two home runs. Fortunately for the Yankees, the second flyout was a sacrifice, scoring the run that gave the Yankees a 3-2 lead.

The most interesting offensive outburst came in the fifth. Chase Headley was hit in…let’s call it a vulnerable area, then proceeded to move around the bases on a single and a walk. Greg Bird hit a grounder to first base with the bases loaded, and Joe Mauer let the ball pass right through his legs to plate a vindicated and very sore Headley. An inning later, Starlin Castro chipped in an RBI single to make the game 5-2.

Sabathia gave way to Chad Green, who was a little off tonight, failing to find the zone and allowing two baserunners. He recovered to get three outs, before passing the baton to a completely dominant David Robertson. D-Rob struck out all three men he faced, and it was up to Aroldis Chapman. The designated closer gave up a two-out double, but that was all the Twins could manage, going down in the ninth.

The Yankees look to sweep Minnesota tomorrow afternoon. Luis Severino has been bumped up to start, so we should be in for a lot of fun. See first pitch at 1:05pm EDT.