The Yankees edged the Twins 3-2 on Wednesday night and are now one win away from sweeping the series at Target Field in Minnesota. After winning the first three games of the series the Yankees now have a winning streak of more than two games for the first time since the beginning of June.
The Yankees had an offensive letdown in comparison to their last two games, which is understandable since they combined for 17 runs in those games. The Yankees combined to score 17 in games played from June 25-30.
However, the Yankees were yet again led by Robinson Cano. His double in the sixth that scored Brett Gardner and Ichiro Suzuki tied the game at two. An RBI double by Joe Mauer and a homer by Trevor Plouffe accounted for Minnesota’s runs earlier in the game.
Later in the sixth, Lyle Overbay, who had gone six games without an RBI, hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Cano for what would turn out to be the winning run.
CC Sabathia gave the team a solid start for only his second time in his last six starts. He threw 121 pitches (81 for strikes), recorded nine strikeouts and only gave up those two run early in the game. He won his 200th game of his career after a much needed rebound performance. Sabathia is now tied with Chuck Finley, Tim Wakefield and George Uhle on the all-time wins list. Sabathia, who is 32, has a chance at 300 wins since he doesn’t get injured and is very consistent.
Just as important ast Sabathia getting back on tract is the hot streak that Cano is now on. The baseball is basically the size of a beach ball for him right now. He has had two or more hits in all of the last six games and is 14-24 during that time period. Since June 27, he has raised his average from .276 to .299.
The Yankees needed this winning streak against an inferior opponent because it was necessary to make up ground in the Wild-Card and AL East before the All-Star Break. They are now a more manageable 2.5 games behind the Orioles and Rangers in the Wild-Card standings with four more games against the Twins before the Midsummer Classic.
The Yankees and Twins will play an afternoon tilt at 2:10 on Independence Day. David Phelps’s (4.95 ERA) nine runs in his last start amounted to the worst start of his career so he will look to rebound from that. The Bronx Bombers will try to have a better offensive performance against the rookie, Kyle Gibson, than they did against P.J. Walters.
The pitching staff will look to limit two of the Twins’ most feared hitters once again as Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau have gone 2-21 so far this series.