Yankees 3, Twins 2: Stranded Again

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 26: Jon Rauch #60 and Joe Mauer #7 of the Minnesota Twins sit in the dugout in the ninth inning against the New York Yankees during their game on May 26, 2010 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Yankees defeated the Twins 3-2. (Photo by Hannah Foslien /Getty Images)

On Sunday, the Twins lost 4-3 to the Brewers, seeing a ninth-inning comeback effort fall just inches short. The close loss could have been avoided; they left 14 runners on base.

On Tuesday night, the Twins battled the Yankees through five scoreless frames before heavy rain forced a delay and eventual suspension of play. The two teams picked up on Wednesday afternoon and Brian Duensing, making a pseudo-start after having worked out of the bullpen all season, gave up a tie-breaking solo home run to the second batter he faced. Duensing settled in after that, completing three innings of work with no further damage, but the Twins offense could muster no support and the Yankees notched a 1-0 victory. The Twins stranded 10 runners on base in the game.

In the nightcap of an impromptu semi-doubleheader, the Twins sent their ace Francisco Liriano out to face Andy Pettitte. The Twins were seemingly up to the task -- they took an early lead, they got a great performance from Liriano, they received a big game-tying knock from Delmon Young in the seventh inning -- but ultimately they fell short. The hitters failed in numerous key situations and Jon Rauch left a fat pitch over the plate for Nick Swisher in the ninth, propelling the Yankees to a second win on the day. In their third straight one-run loss, the Twins went 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position.

Last night, the Yankees one two games on home runs. The Twins, meanwhile, can't seem to hit the ball out of their home park. Hitters continue to see their soaring drives fall into fielders' gloves at the warning track, and it's pretty clear that frustration is building.

That frustration is reflected in a fan base that will be very unhappy if the Twins can't break the Yankees' spell and avoid an embarrassing home sweep against New York for a second season in a row.

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