Twins end first half with first series win in New York since 2001
Get the 1500 ESPN SportsWire delivered to your inbox daily, and keep up with all the news in Twin Cities Sports
NEW YORK -- Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire is realistic. Taking two out of three from the Yankees for their first series win in New York in more than a decade is not going wipe out the Twins' horrid first half.
It sure feels good, though.
Aaron Hicks hit a three-run homer a pitch after shortstop Eduardo Nunez made a two-out throwing error, and Minnesota took advantage of some Yankees miscues and misfortune to beat CC Sabathia for the first time in six years, 10-4 Sunday.
"You still have to live with the way we played in the first half and our record is not very good," Gardenhire said, quickly adding: "Guys are smiling and that's what we want to see."
Justin Morneau had three hits -- two very well placed -- as Minnesota won a series at Yankee Stadium for the first time since taking a set at the old ballpark in 2001. Still, the Twins are 9-31 here starting a year later.
They'd had even less success against Sabathia (9-8), going 0-11 in 12 games including the postseason after beating him on July 29, 2007.
"Things went our way and that hasn't happened here in a long time," Gardenhire said.
The Yankees made two errors that led to five unearned runs. They also hit into four double plays -- two on baserunning blunders by Zoilo Almonte -- in making it plenty easy for the Twins in the teams' final game before the All-Star break.
The fans let New York know their displeasure, booing relentlessly after the Yankees fell behind 8-1 in the fourth.
Rookie Kyle Gibson (2-2) benefited from the sloppy play to earn his second win in four career starts. He pitched five-plus shaky innings, yielding three runs -- two earned -- on five hits and four walks.
Minnesota improved to 3-7 on a 10-game road trip and is 39-53.
"It's been a terrible road trip," Ryan Doumit said. "It's nice to win two out of three going into the break, give us a little bit of a momentum, especially two out of three against the Yankees at their place is big for us."
"They need to go swing, all of them do," said Gardenhire, who emphasized all three are part of the club's future.
To take their spots, the Twins will purchase the contract of infielder Doug Bernier and recall catcher Chris Herrmann from Rochester. A third move will be made sometime before Friday's game against Cleveland.
New York goes into the break 51-44, good for fourth place in the AL East.
"I think we just need to be more consistent, we got to stay out of stretches where we don't score runs," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "We have to be more consistent offensively and if we do that, we're going to have a shot."
Sabathia gave up a season-high eight runs -- three earned -- and matched his low of four innings this year.
Lyle Overbay couldn't handle Doumit's two-out hot shot to first base with the bases loaded in the fourth for an error to let in two runs to make it 8-1. The previous batter, Morneau hit a popup in between the mound and second base that was just out of a lunging Sabathia's reach. Sabathia slid on his knees after missing the ball as Jamey Carroll scored.
In the third, Morneau, who came in batting .128 against Sabathia, hit a short fly to right that hit off second baseman Robinson Cano's glove for a double. Nunez made his error two batters later and Hicks connected for a 5-0 lead.
Sabathia shouted and Nunez took off his glove and held his hand on his hip as Hicks rounded the bases with his eighth homer of the year.
"Guys are going to make errors," Sabathia said. "It's up to the pitcher to make pitches."
In the first inning, Almonte burst off first base on Cano's sharp liner to right and was doubled off to end the inning. The rookie tried tagging up on a routine fly to left field in the third but was out at home by several feet.
Almonte reached on second baseman Brian Dozier's fielding error and advanced on Cano's RBI single that made it 5-1 and a groundout.
Carroll -- in the lineup because he was 4 for 10 against Sabathia -- and Pedro Florimon had RBI singles in the second.
Ichiro Suzuki, who had three hits, homered in the seventh to make it 8-4. Dozier had an RBI double in the eighth and Yankees catcher Chris Stewart's passed ball allowed one more in the ninth.
Cano had at least one RBI in all seven games against the Twins this year. He had nine in a four-game sweep at Minnesota. ... Girardi said Andy Pettitte will start Friday at Boston in the first game after the break. He will be followed by Hiroki Kuroda and Sabathia. ... Gardenhire set his post-break rotation, too: Mike Pelfrey, Kevin Correia, Scott Diamond and Samuel Deduno. ... Girardi said injured SS Derek Jeter (quad strain) will not be evaluated until Thursday or Friday. ... Alex Rodriguez went 1 for 3 with a run-scoring double and two RBIs for Class A Tampa, his first extra-base hit during a minor league rehabilitation assignment. A-Rod is scheduled to join Double-A Trenton for Monday's game at Reading, Pa.© The Associated Press