The Yankees lost to the Minnesota Twins 6-1 on Friday night at Yankee Stadium. They were facing Ricky Nolasco, who had the second worst ERA of all starting pitchers in the American League coming into the game.
Vidal Nuno allowed four runs in 6.2 innings and all four of those runs came off of home runs. Against Nuno, Oswaldo Arcia and Josh Willingham hit solo homers and Trevor Plouffe hit a two-run homer that drove in Arcia. In the eighth inning, Preston Claiborne wasn’t much better as he gave up RBI singles to catcher Kurt Suzuki and former Yankee Eduardo Nunez.
Nunez, who was mostly unreliable with his defense in his four seasons playing for the Yankees, has a .256 average in 43 at-bats this season. He continued his trend of having his helmet fall off while running the bases during Friday’s game.
Nuno has pitched much better on the road this season than in the Bronx. In his three away starts he has allowed a combined four earned runs, after allowing zero in his start at Tampa Bay, one against the Angels in Anaheim and three in Chicago against the White Sox. However, in his five starts at Yankee Stadium, he has allowed four runs or more in all but two starts.
The Yankees scored their only run in the third inning. Jacoby Ellsbury, who is hitting .333 with seven RBIs in the last seven days, hit a double to drive in Brett Gardner. Ellsbury, who is leading the team in steals with 14, also has three steals in the last four games.
In today’s game at 1:05 p.m. Masahiro Tanaka will face Kevin Correia. Tanaka is tied for third in the AL win wins with seven and leads the AL with his 2.29 ERA, but Korreia had the worst ERA of all American League starting pitchers entering the game. The Yankees have the overwhelming pitching edge in this game as it seems like Tanaka will be an All-Star in his first season since coming over from Japan.
It is important that the Yankees get this win in order to close out May on a positive note. In tomorrow’s game they will be facing Phil Hughes for the first time. The Yankees will have the advantage in that game as well since Hughes had a 5.35 ERA in his last three seasons at Yankee Stadium.