The Yankees beat the Minnesota Twins 2-0 on Friday night in a game that was filled with rain. They were lucky to be playing the Twins because they are now 5-0 against them this season.
The game featured a rain delay of about an hour in the fourth inning and Joe Girardi surprisingly brought Hiroki Kuroda back in the game. Girardi made the right decision this time since Kuroda was able to successfully pitch out of trouble in the fifth to have a line of six hits, two walks and five strikeouts in the rain. He was able to get his eighth win by coming out for the fifth inning.
However, Ron Gardenhire opted not to bring Scott Diamond in after the rain delay, and the Yankees were able to capitalize off of the relief pitchers that they saw after the rain delay. In the bottom of the fifth, with Ryan Pressly pitching, Brett Gardner hit a single to shallow left that scored Luis Cruz. Later in the inning, off of Brian Duensing, Robinson Cano hit a single to drive in Gardner that extended his hitting streak to seven games.
Mariano Rivera, who is an All-Star for the 13th time in his Hall of Fame career, pitched a perfect ninth inning for his 30th save of the season. It was also announced on Friday that Delta has dedicated a plane to Mariano Rivera. Their official Twitter account congratulated him on a great career. It is fitting that he is getting gifts from opposing teams and even a major airline.
AL Central opponents have been a welcome opponent for the Yankees this season since the Bronx Bombers are now 17-5 against them so far. The Yankees now have a three-game winning streak, after winning the last wo against the Kansas City Royals, and it is important that they go into the All-Star break with momentum by winning the final two games of the series against the Twins (37-53), who are in fourth place.
The Yankees got some bad news on Thursday when, in Derek Jeter’s first game of the season due to his fractured ankle, Jeter injured his quad when running to first in his third at-bat and the MRI revealed that he has a Grade 1 quad strain. He will not be back until after the All-Star Break. It is frustrating that Jeter fell victim to a new injury in his first game back, but at least he did not reaggravate the ankle injury that he had before. Girardi and Brian Cashman should make sure that he does not come back until he is 100 percent because they will need Jeter to be healthy for a playoff push in August and September.