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By Gary W. Marchese Jr.
Minneapolis, MN (Aug 22) – The New York Yankees defeated the Minnesota Twins by the score of 3-0 on Sunday afternoon. Ivan Nova made the start and was outstanding. He had a rough start last time out and this time bounced right back and pitched one of his best games whereas, did not give up a run.
Mariano Rivera had an easy inning for the save as he looks like his old self. The offense did not do much but they did get back-to-back homeruns from Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira. Granderson had an inside-the-park homerun.
Nova pitched seven innings giving up five hits and no runs. He walked one and struck out five. Nova won his 13th game of the season and is now 13-4 with a 3.97 ERA. Robertson gave up two hits in an inning and walked one. He also struck out two, and Rivera recorded his 33rd save pitching a perfect inning, he struck out two.
Derek Jeter had a hit, a walk, Granderson had a hit, RBI and a walk, and Teixeira had a hit, RBI and a walk. Alex Rodriguez in his return to the lineup after about six weeks of being out had a rough day. He was 0-5 leaving six men on base. Robinson Cano had a hit, Nick Swisher had a walk and Russell Martin had a hit, RBI and a walk. Brett Gardner had a walk and Eduardo Nunez had a hit. Cano had a homerun and Granderson and Teixeira had homeruns. The Yankees were 0-8 with runners in scoring position and left 10 men on base. Nunez and Granderson had stolen bases and Teixeira had an error.
The Yankees broke through in the sixth inning after failing to capitalize on a few chances. Martin had a sacrifice fly to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead. In the seventh inning, Granderson hit an inside-the-park homerun followed by a Teixeira homerun. The Yankees won the game 3-0.
The Yankees won three out of four in Minnesota. The Yankees have the Twins number as they always beat them. The Yankees remain ½ a game ahead of the Boston Red Sox remaining in first place in the AL East. The Yankees and Red Sox will both be in the postseason now it is just a matter of seeding as one will win the division and the other is the wild card.
Nova went down to the minors for a month and worked on his slider and now that is his out pitch. He has won nine out of his last 10 starts, and is 9-0 with a 3.48 ERA during that stretch. Nova is 5-0 with a 3.55 ERA since his return to the majors. The inside-the-park homerun was the first by a Yankee since Jeter did it on July 22, 2010. It was Granderson first since August 26, 2007 against the Yankees.
The Yankees finished the road trip with a 5-2 record and now return home for three against the Oakland Athletics. They will have Monday off, and then after the brief home stand will hit the road to Baltimore and Boston.