Yankees hit four bombs off Liam Hendriks on way to easy win over Twins
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MINNEAPOLIS -- A barrage of home runs by the powerful New York Yankees sunk Liam Hendriks and the Minnesota Twins, 6-3 on Monday night at Target Field.
Death, taxes and the Yankees pounding the Twins in the crisp, fall weather.
The Yankees jumped out to a 3-0 lead on Hendriks in the first inning with a sacrifice fly by Robinson Cano and a towering two-run homer by Nick Swisher.
Hendriks settled down briefly before Curtis Granderson took him deep in the fourth inning. Raul Ibanez and Eric Chavez both hit solo homers off Hendriks in the seventh.
By the time the thunder subsided, Hendriks was charged with six earned runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out four in 6 1/3 innings.
"Tonight I think we see what happens when you get too many balls over the middle of the plate," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "They end up flying an awful long ways. ...
"I think you saw some glimpses of some really good pitching. But you have to be really consistent, and he wasn't. Too many balls over the middle of the plate."
Between the home runs, Hendriks did show flashes of solid pitching, busting hitters inside and keeping them off-balance. But a slow start and a slow finish did him in -- as has been the case on numerous occasions this season.
"The boxscore doesn't give me credit for how well I went through parts of that lineup," Hendriks said. "I think I really did well against some of their guys, and kept them in check, but the bottom third of the order killed me."
Yankees starter Andy Pettitte made good use of his limited pitch count, throwing six scoreless innings while striking out three, walking only one and scattering seven hits.
The Twins' first run came on a solo homer by Pedro Florimon -- the first of his career -- in the bottom of the eighth inning off right-hander Cory Wade. Pinch-hitter Chris Parmelee added a two-RBI double over the head of center fielder Granderson with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning off righty David Robertson.
Joe Mauer finished 1-for-4 with a single, dropping his batting average to .322. Detroit's Miguel Cabrera finished the day hitting .331, which leads the American League.
The Twins had a chance to put up a crooked number of their own in the first inning, but wound up with a goose egg.
But Pettitte was able to freeze Justin Morneau on a low fastball and get Ryan Doumit to bounce out to end the threat.
"You don't see it in his face that he's in trouble at any time," Gardenhire said of Pettitte. "He just keeps going about his business and making pitches, and I think that's what veterans do. They understand if you make the pitch you get the groundball."
40: Home runs for Granderson
17: Home runs allowed by Hendriks
1: The number of hitters in the Yankees lineup Monday night with fewer than 10 home runs on the season (Ichiro)
OF Josh Willingham left the game with a left shoulder strain. He is considered day-to-day.
RHP Matt Capps (shoulder) was activated from the disabled list and pitched a scoreless ninth inning despite putting runners on the corners with one out. Capps was throwing his fastball mostly 88 to 90 mph, which is below the velocity he usually sits at when fully healthy.
Tuesday: vs. Yankees, 7:10 p.m. RHP Esmerling Vasquez (0-2, 6.75) vs. RHP Phil Hughes (16-12, 4.05)
Wednesday: vs. Yankees, 12:10 p.m. RHP Samuel Deduno (6-5, 4.54) vs. LHP CC Sabathia (13-6, 3.47)