Yankees beat Twins 5-2 behind Sabathia's solid start

As the season winds down, the Yankees magic number does as well, and with it only being seven coming into the game against the Twins on Tuesday night, it was clear that there was no better man to have on the mound than the trusted veteran, C.C Sabathia, who turned in another solid performance, going six innings and allowing two early runs before settling down in during the middle innings. C.C also got some help from his offense, as Brett Gardner got two clutch RBI singles early on, and got further aid from Stalin and Judge, as the Yankees took their second straight from Minnesota and their sixth consecutive series win, by a score of 5-2.

Photo Credit: AP Kathy Willens

It appeared as if the Twins had gotten off to the ideal start in the top of the first, with a base hit on the first pitch of the game and two bunt base hits to load the bases with nobody out after only four pitches by Sabathia. With the game looking as if it could get out of hand early, C.C showed his veteran grit and grinded it out. C.C got Escobar to ground into a routine double play, which scored a run but killed the momentum the Twins previously possessed. Bruxton was up next and grounded out right back to C.C to get out of the jam and keep the score at 1-0. 

The Yanks answered back in the second with a run of their own off a Brett Gardner RBI single. Aaron Judge nearly followed Gardner up with his 45th homer of the year, yet just missed it, as Bruxton made the catch just shy of the track in dead center to end the inning.

Photo Credit: AP Kathy Willens

The Twins jumped right back on C.C to start the third, with the number nine hitter Max Kepler taking one deep to right field to bring the score to 2-1. C.C once again did not let the poor start to the inning snowball, and settled down to set down the next three batters. Didi Gregorius ripped a double to the right field wall for the Yanks in the bottom half of the inning, yet would be stranded on second.

Jacoby Ellsbury got the Yanks going to start the bottom half of the fourth, poking a double down the left field line. After a Greg Bird walk, Gardy stepped to the plate and delivered yet another RBI single to tie the game at two. After Gardner, it was another chance for Judge, and for a second straight at-bat, he ripped one to the warning track into an outfielder's glove. This time however it was a success as a wild pitch allowed Bird to move to third earlier in the at-bat and score on the Judge sac-fly, which gave the Yankees the lead at 3-2. 

Photo Credit: AP Kathy Willens

The Yankees continued to manufacture opportunities in the fifth, as they found themselves with the bases loaded for the second time in the game. The Twins brought in a lefty out of the pen to face Bird in a pivotal spot. With two strikes on him, Bird grounded a ball to first in what looked like the Twins way out of the inning. Instead, former MVP Joe Mauer muffed the ball and allowed Bird to reach first and the run to score from third to put the Yankees up by two.

The Twins knocked two base hits off Sabathia in the sixth, but did not get any runs out of it, hitting a fly ball to deep left to end the inning. The bats for the Bombers kept on producing in the sixth, as Starlin Castro drove in the fifth Yankee run of the game on an RBI single, scoring Judge and bringing the lead to three.

Photo Credit: AP Kathy Willens

C.C did not come back out for the seventh, which was a bit surprising considering he was only at  77 pitches and had at least another inning left in the tank. Instead, Joe Girardi went to Chad Green, who has been dominant out of the pen all year. Green got into a bit of a sticky situation after giving up a hit and walk, yet got Mauer to fly out to left with two on to end the threat.

David Robertson was in for the eighth, and was perfect, to put it simply. Robertson struck out the side in order, and it took just four pitches to put down each hitter, as the score remained 5-2 as the game moved to the bottom of the eighth.  Besides an infield hit by Starlin, the Yanks went down without a whimper in the eighth leaving the game in the hands of the up and down closer Aroldis Chapman, attempting to give the Yankees win number 84. 

Chapman had a relatively calm ninth, despite giving up a double with two outs, as he got the final batter of the game to line out to left to seal the victory. The Yankees did not gain any ground in the division race tonight, however they have nearly cemented their position as the number one Wild Card team in the American League, as they are now six games ahead of the Twins.The Yanks will try to complete the sweep tomorrow at 1:05, when Luis Severino takes the hill.

Winning Pitcher: C.C Sabathia (12-5, 3.81 ERA): 6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 5 K
Losing Pitcher: Jose Berrios (12-8, 3.94 ERA): 3.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 4 BB, 4 K
Save: Aroldis Chapman (20)

Brett Gardner: 3-5, 2 RBI
Starlin Castro: 3-4, RBI
Aaron Judge: 2-4, RBI
Article by: Matt Luzzi


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