Game 99: NYY vs. MIN — Twins’ opening triple play leads to trouncing

The Yankees were hoping to continue their strong home stand with a strong road trip. But the Twins are having quite the season and were in the position to put a stop to the Yankees’ confidence. It didn’t stop the Yankees from pulling out all the stops to try to chip away at the Twins’ early jump into the lead.

CC Sabathia got the start for the Yankees in the first game against the Twins, throwing 77 pitches in just 4 innings, giving up 6 hits, 2 walks, and 7 runs (6 earned), and striking out just 2 Minnesota batters. In the 1st, with 1 out, he gave up consecutive solo home runs to give the Twins the lead early.

In the 3rd, a walk and 2 singles loaded up the bases. The next batter was awarded 1st base due to catcher’s interference, which moved all the runners up and scored the lead runner. Then a pair of near identical plays, a hit into a fielder’s choice, scored the next 2 runners to ease the Twins into a comfortable lead. In the 4th, a lead-off home run and a 2-out solo homer kept the Twins in control of the board.

Luis Cessa came on for some long-term relief, 3 innings through the 7th. Despite 6 strong strikeouts, he gave up a 1-out solo home run in the 6th to cap off the home team’s night. Jonathan Holder closed out the game with a scoreless and hitless 13-pitch 8th inning, including some snazzy defense.

The Yankees did try their best to challenge the Twins, and they did so rather effectively. In the 3rd, with 1 out, Gio Urshela hit the 1st pitch of his at-bat for his 10th home run of the season. Then Tauchman singled, moved to 3rd on LeMahieu’s double, and watched Judge work a walk to load up the bases. Edwin Encarnacion’s single scored Tauchman to tie up the game briefly.

Luke Voit hit a big 1-out solo home run in the 4th. Then in the 5th, Tauchman’s single led-off the inning, and DJ LeMahieu’s 2-run home run inched the Yankees closer to the Twins’ lead. Torres led-off the 6th with a double, moved to 3rd on a ground out, and then scored on Mike Tauchman’s single. Close, but not quite enough.

Final score: 8-6 Twins

And the biggest thing everyone talked about tonight was the Triple Play from the 1st inning. Unfortunately, it was the Twins’ defense that showed off the play. LeMahieu and Judge kicked off the 1st with consecutive walks, but then Encarnacion hit into the standard triple play, or the 5-4-3. (Five is the scoring number for 3rd baseman, four is the 2nd baseman, and three is the 1st baseman.) It is the first triple play inside Target Field, but the ninth triple play by the Twins in their organizational history.

Roster moves/Scranton Shuttle: Before tonight’s game, the Yankees played the old “fresh arm switcheroo” again. They called Jonathan Holder back up from AAA Scranton, sending Stephen Tarpley back down. Holder, of course, threw a great inning in tonight’s game.

Go Yankees!

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