Deep trouble: Twins fall into 0-2 hole after 5-2 loss to Yankees
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MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Twins have taken a lead over the New York Yankees in eight consecutive playoff games.
In all eight of those games, the Yankees have come back to win.
The Yankees now hold a commanding 2-0 lead in the five-game series.
The seventh inning began with the game tied, 2-2. Jorge Posada led off with a walk, and Lance Berkman worked a 2-2 count before watching a borderline pitch by Pavano cross over the inner black of home plate.
Umpire Hunter Wendelstedt called the pitch a ball, much to Pavano's chagrin, and Berkman ripped the very next pitch for a go-ahead RBI double, giving the Yankees a 3-2 lead.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was ejected for arguing the borderline non-strike call, and Pavan wound up being pulled from the game with the Twins trailing 4-2 after giving up an RBI single to Derek Jeter two batters later.
Pavano allowed four earned runs on 10 hits and one walk in six-plus innings. He had previously allowed just three earned runs in 15 innings against the Yankees in his two previous playoff match-ups against them.
Pavano's counterpart, Andy Pettitte, struggled mightily in his final two starts of the regular season -- allowing nine earned runs on 19 hits in just 7 1/3 innings while trying to ramp up after missing two months with a groin injury -- but he pitched extremely well on Thursday night. The left-hander allowed just two earned runs on five hits in seven innings. He struck out four and walked one.
The Twins jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, courtesy of a bases-loaded sacrifice fly by Danny Valencia. Pettitte, however, pitched out of the jam allowing only the one run.
New York tied the game 1-1 in the top of the fourth inning on a sacrifice fly by Alex Rodriguez, and they took a 2-1 lead in the top of the fifth inning when Berkman blasted a solo homer into the bullpen in left-center field.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Orlando Hudson broke Pettitte's stretch of 12 straight batters retired with a solo blast of his own, into the left field seats to temporarily tie the game at 2-2.
Matt Capps saw his first postseason action in the top of the ninth inning. He allowed an RBI single to Curtis Granderson, which extended the Yankees' lead to 5-2.
The two teams will fly to New York for a workout on Friday before playing Game 3 at Yankee Stadium on Saturday night at 7:37 p.m. LHP Brian Duensing (10-3, 2.62) is scheduled to face RHP Phil Hughes (18-8, 4.19).