Apparently most of the team didn’t get enough rest last night. The Yankees sleepwalked through the majority of today’s game against the Twins, the day after finding their way to victory in a night game. The offense worked several walks against Twins starter Jake Odorizzi, but couldn’t find enough hits to cash in with the big blow. Meanwhile, J.A. Happ gave the Twins lineup the green light to launch a few balls into orbit, or at least into the first row of outfield seats.
Let’s start with Happ, because the bad version came to the park today. Happ had been riding a streak of strong performances, going at least into the seventh in his last three starts, but he found himself in trouble early. Happ hit Jonathan Schoop with a pitch to start the third inning, and then two batters later served a ball up to Mitch Garver that was deposited just over the short porch in right. Schoop came for revenge in the fourth inning, launching a ball with two runners on to the porch again, but Cameron Maybin stole a home run with a leaping grab.
Happ got into another jam in the fifth, putting runners on the corners with no outs. He managed to induce a double-play ball, but that allowed another run to score, giving the Twins a 3-0 lead. The final blow came in the sixth, when C.J. Cron swatted a solo home run to left that put Minnesota up 4-0.
Odorizzi, on the other hand, kept the Yankees off balance all afternoon. Odorizzi walked four batters, but struck out eight and never allowed a runner to advance past second base. Even the few hits the Yankees did pick up were quickly stranded, or picked off like when DJ LeMahieu was ruled out in the third after video review.
The Bombers showed some life once Odorizzi was replaced by Trevor Hildenberger to start the seventh. Brett Gardner led off with a double, and advanced to third on a single by Maybin. Gardner scored on a wild pitch, and LeMahieu slapped a line drive to left to bring home Maybin, and suddenly the Yankees were back in the game.
Every time the Yankees clawed their way forward, however, the Twins pushed them back in the hole. Minnesota added runs in the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings, the last coming on a long solo shot by Nelson Cruz to effectively put the game away. Gary Sanchez made things interesting by launching another monster shot to left to start the eighth inning:
It looks like Sánd People did this. pic.twitter.com/md2S76gTR3— New York Yankees (@Yankees) May 4, 2019
But the rest of the lineup failed to continue the rally. Sanchez is now tied for the American League lead with 11 home runs in just 19 games played, a monstrous return to form from his frustrating 2018. Luke Voit fell two batters shy of getting a final chance in the ninth to bat, meaning his 42-game on base streak is officially over.
The Yankees didn’t get the result they wanted, but they did bring back some key players. LeMahieu, as mentioned, plated a couple runs in his first game back since being sidelined with a knee injury, and Miguel Andujar returned after a stint on the IL. Andujar didn’t have the sharpest return defensively, booting two plays that were entirely his fault, but he did go 1-3 with a walk and a loud fly ball out in the eighth.
The series is now tied, meaning the Yankees still have a chance to take the series tomorrow when they go up against a familiar face in Michael Pineda. First pitch was moved back from 1:05 to 4:05 p.m. EST because of weather concerns. We’ll have full coverage of the rubber game then.