The New York Yankees played a sloppy game on Monday afternoon in the Bronx.
The Minnesota Twins were better defensively and on the bases and had more hits and walks combined. But they still managed to lose in a game that didn’t feel as close at the final 5-2 margin.
After a quick 1-2-3 first inning for Yankees starter Jameson Taillon, Aaron Judge laced a one-out double to right-center field. With two down in the inning, Josh Donaldson rocketed a single off the left-field wall, scoring Judge. Donaldson, however, assumed a round-tripper out of the box and didn’t run hard until he reached first based and was gunned down by several feet at second base by Jake Cave.
Nick Gordon and Kyle Garlick both singled in the second inning, but the hits were sandwiched around a Gio Urshela groundball double play and the Twins did no damage.
The Twins put a runner in scoring position in the third inning after Gilberto Celestino reached on an error and stole second base, but Carlos Correa struck out swinging to end the threat. Instead, the Yankees doubled their lead in the bottom of the frame as Old Friend Marwin Gonzalez, who entered the game with a sub-.600 OPS, walloped a homer into right field.
Urshela walked in the fourth with two outs but was stranded after Garlick struck out. Twins starter Chris Archer got out of some trouble of his own in the bottom of the fourth by forcing a Yankees double play.
The Twins’ offense finally woke up in the top of the fifth, as Jake Cave walked, bringing former Yankee Gary Sanchez to the dish. Sanchez absolutely demolished a 1-0 fastball, depositing it back into the bleachers in right field; the ball landed a whopping 73 feet from home plate.
Two pitches later, Celestino laced a ball off the top of the short wall in right field, missing a home run by a foot or two. Yankees right-fielder Oswaldo Cabrera played it perfectly, gunning Celestino down at second on a close play. After an Arraez popout, Correa and Miranda each singled before Taillon coaxed a flyout from Nick Gordon to end the inning. When it was all said and done, the Twins had four hits and a walk but only managed to score two runs in the fifth.
Archer faced just three men again in the fifth, getting the Yankees to bang into a double play for the second consecutive inning.
The Twins received a gift baserunner again in the sixth, as Donaldson whiffed on an Urshela grounder to start the inning. But the next three runners went down in order, leaving the game tied with the top of the Yankees order coming up in the next inning.
Predictably, Archer was removed after five innings. Trevor Megill took the mound and promptly gave up a sharp single to Gleyber Torres. Then, it was Judge’s turn to do damage, parking a Megill slider into the second deck down the left-field line. Just like that, it was 4-2 Yankees.
The Twins had another runner erased in the top of the seventh inning on a double play. In the bottom, Emilio Pagan did what he often does, allowing a solo home run to Old Friend (kind of) Isiah Kiner-Falefa — only his second round-tripper of the year in 442 plate appearances this year.
The Twins couldn’t muster another baserunner over the final two innings, and it ended up being a fairly easy win for the Yankees.
- The Twins went down in order in the first, eighth, and ninth innings. In the six innings in between, the Twins had at least one runner on base.
- All told, the Twins left seven runners on base and grounded into two double plays.
- The Yankees grounded into three double plays of their own, bringing the game’s total twin-killings to five.
- Between the two errors, Donaldson’s baserunning mistake in the first inning, and four walks allowed, the Yankees played the sloppier all-around game. But they also won the home-run battle and had a much more effective bullpen outing.
- The Twins stole two bases and weren’t thrown out attempting to steal, so that was weird.
- Luis Arraez had some poor at-bats in this game, including a give-away swing on a pitch that was a foot outside and a couple of bad swings with runners on base.
- Cleveland doesn’t play until 7 p.m. CT, so ... fingers crossed that they continue to be worse than the Twins.
- Gary Sanchez: 1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI
- Gilberto Celestino: 1-for-2, R, SB, BB
- Luis Arraez: 0-for-4, K
- Trevor Megill: 1 IP, 2 ER, 2 H, BB, HR