Throughout his career, Phil Hughes has been known for giving up home runs, but the Yankees couldn't get to him tonight. In fact, it was the Yankee pitchers who gave up all four home runs of the game. Fresh off the sweep of the Orioles, the Yankees' offense did nothing but hit singles and strand runners tonight until the ninth inning when they finally got on the board to prevent the shutout. By that time, it was too little, too late and the Yankees ultimately lost 10-1.
The Twins took a two-run lead in the first inning after Torii Hunter singled and Miguel Sano hit a shot to centerfield that just managed to get over the wall. They tacked on another run in the second inning after a defensive miscue by Didi Gregorius. Eddie Rosario popped up to shallow left to lead off the inning, and the ball deflected off of the glove of Gregorius as he jumped up to retrieve it, putting Rosario on second base. Kurt Suzuki then singled up the middle to score the run. Pineda pitched a clean third inning, but surrendered two more runs in the fourth inning. After giving up a leadoff double in the bottom of the sixth, the Yankees removed Pineda in favor of Branden Pinder who was able to get the last out of the inning. It was a forgettable outing for Pineda, who gave up five earned runs on eight hits through five and two-thirds innings, while recording just four strikeouts.
Pinder came back out for the seventh inning and helped the Twins extend their lead by giving up a solo home run to Hunter. All of the Yankee relievers wanted to get in on the home run action tonight, as Chris Capuano immediately gave up a solo shot to Trevor Plouffe to kick off the eighth inning. The Twins went on to score four runs in that inning, including a home run off the bat of Brian Dozier, to make it 10-0.
It's not like the Yankees' offense didn't have opportunities tonight, it's just that they couldn't find a way to capitalize on them. Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira both singled with two outs in the first, but Brian McCann couldn't drive them in. They repeated this again in the seventh inning, this time with Chase Headley, Didi Gregorius and Stephen Drew hitting back-to-back-to-back singles with two outs to load the bases. Again, the Yankees left runners stranded. In the eighth inning, also with two outs, Tex hit his third single of the night and stole a base (!) and McCann worked a walk, but Beltran grounded out to end the inning. It seems like this team always mounts a comeback in the ninth inning, and tonight was no different. With one out, Gregorius singled and advanced to second on an error. Drew followed with his second single of the night, and the Yankees finally got a run on the board thanks to a sac fly off the bat of Ellsbury. It wasn't pretty, but at least it wasn't a shutout.
CC Sabathia will try to even things out in the series tomorrow night at 7:10 EST. He'll square off against fellow lefty Tommy Milone.