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Updated: April 5th, 2011 9:56pm
Twins Daily: Frantic late-inning rally leads to rare win over Yankees

Twins Daily: Frantic late-inning rally leads to rare win over Yankees

by Phil Mackey
1500ESPN.com
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The Minnesota Twins scored four runs in the top of the eighth inning, then added another run in the top of the 10th for a 5-4 win over the New York Yankees on Tuesday night, marking just their seventh win in 38 tries under Ron Gardenhire in the Bronx.

The skinny

With the game tied 4-4 in the top of the 10th inning, Denard Span drew a leadoff walk against left-hander Boone Logan. Tsuyoshi Nishioka was asked to bunt, but fouled off two pitches to fall behind 0-2. On the third pitch, Nishioka ripped a single to right field, putting runners on first and third with nobody out.

Joe Mauer followed with a broken-bat single to right past a drawn-in infield, driving home the go-ahead run.

Turning point

The Twins have talked about needing a lucky bounce to turn the tide against the Yankees, and that's exactly what happened in the top of the eighth inning.

After putting together almost zero offense against starter C.C. Sabathia through the first seven innings, the Twins -- trailing 4-0 -- loaded the bases with two outs against right-hander Rafael Soriano.

Mauer drew a walk to drive in the Twins' first run, and Delmon Young followed with a flare down the right-field line off right-hander Dave Robertson that dropped in front of a diving Nick Swisher. All three runs scored, tying the game 4-4.

Numbers game

2: The number of saves for Joe Nathan this season. After sweating through a wild ninth inning for his first save in Toronto, Nathan coasted against the Yankees in the 10th inning on Tuesday. The right-hander induced two groundouts before blowing a fastball by Derek Jeter to end the game.

4: The number of times now, in 21 games, that the Twins have scored more than four runs against the Yankees over the last two seasons, including the playoffs.

1: The number of times Matt Capps has pitched two full innings in his 30 appearances as a Twin. Capps threw only 16 pitches between the eighth and ninth innings on Tuesday night.

7: Left-hander Brian Duensing gave up a three-run bomb to Mark Teixeira before recording an out in the first inning, and he served up a solo homer to Andruw Jones in the second inning to fall behind 4-0.

But much like with Scott Baker on Monday night, Duensing settled down and pitched well -- seven solid innings overall, allowing six hits and two walks while striking out seven.

0: The number of runs scored by the Yankees over the last two days that didn't come via a home run.

Health watch

No significant health concerns.

On deck


Right-hander Carl Pavano will attempt to avenge a dismal opening-day outing against Toronto, where he gave up seven earned runs in only four innings.

Prior to signing a two-year deal with the Twins this offseason, Pavano was offered a one-year deal to return to the Yankees -- a team that paid him $40 million to pitch only 145 2/3 innings in four injury-played seasons from 2005-2008. A return to pinstripes would have been an odd marriage to rekindle, considering how much venom still spews from New York fans and media toward Pavano.

Pavano's opponent, right-hander Freddy Garcia, will make his first start in a Yankees uniform after posting a 4.64 ERA and 4.77 FIP in 157 innings with the White Sox last year. He struck out 89, walked 45 and allowed 23 home runs.

Coming up

• Thursday: at New York Yankees, 12:05 p.m. LHP Francisco Liriano (0-1, 8.31 ERA) vs. RHP A.J. Burnett (1-0, 5.40).
• Friday: vs. Oakland A's, 3:10 p.m. RHP Nick Blackburn (1-0, 1.59 ERA) vs. LHP Brett Anderson (0-0, 1.50 ERA).
• Saturday: vs. Oakland A's, 6:10 p.m. RHP Scott Baker (0-1, 6.00 ERA) vs. LHP Gio Gonzalez (1-0, 1.29 ERA).

Phil Mackey is a columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd
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