Yankees hit 3 more home runs, beat Twins for 7th straight win

MINNEAPOLIS — Anthony Rizzo hit a three-run home run in the seventh inning to open a close game for the New York Yankees, who brushed off a rare bad start from Jameson Taillon, beating the Minnesota Twins 10-4 on Tuesday night for their seventh win in a row.

Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton got the visitors going with homeruns in the first inning, the 23rd time they have gone deep into the same game together in five seasons. The Yankees have only lost once when that happens, in the Field of Dreams game in Iowa last August 12.

The Yankees (40-15) lead the Major League with the best 55-game baseball record since Seattle in 2001. That’s actually a lower win percentage than the astonishing 110-38 record the Yankees have built, including the playoffs, against the Twins since 2002. They are 32-12 all-time at Target Field, which the Twins opened in 2010.

Taillon, who played perfect seven innings in his last start, was pulled with no outs in the fifth. The Twins knocked him down for nine hits and four runs, both season highs for the righthander. Jorge Polanco went 4 for 4 with two RBI’s, including a homer off Taillon, the first to allow a Yankees pitcher in six games. Lucas Luetge (2-2) threw 1 2/3 scoreless innings for the awarded victory in relief.

Starting pitching has been so dominant for New York this year that the staff has nearly overshadowed a fraught lineup leading the majors in home runs and second in OPS.

Minnesota had nowhere to hide rookie Cole Sands.

The Yankees hit Sands (0-2), a rotational fill-in with seven starting pitchers currently out with injuries or COVID-19, for eight of their 14 hits over the righthander’s 3 2/3 innings. Every starter had at least one, including three from DJ LeMahieu. He also walked twice, once with the bases loaded to bring in a run in the fifth.

LeMahieu singled on the first pitch of the game. Judge followed by crushing a 2-2 fastball into the wall of junipers that serves as the batter’s eye behind midfield, and he drove in a run with a single in the fourth to raise his team-leading RBI total to 43. That is second in the American League behind Cleveland’s José Ramírez.

Rizzo hit his 14th homer of the season off Tyler Duffey, who gave up a three-run shot for his second consecutive appearance for the Twins. Judge leads the Yankees with 22 home runs.

SIDE SWITCHES

Josh Donaldson gave up on a single, walk and one of the Yankees’ three-highest errors of the season, receiving a mild cheer every time his name was announced.

The Twins split Donaldson and the $50 million and two years of his contract with shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa, bought the day before in a separate transaction with Texas, to the Yankees on March 13 for hitting catcher Gary Sánchez and third baseman Gio Urshela.

Donaldson signed with the Twins on January 14, 2020 for $92 million over four years, but he was again dogged by leg muscle injuries and ultimately didn’t fit the clubhouse with his brash presence and outspoken personality.

“They’re in a good position now and I’m good here with the New York Yankees,” said Donaldson. “Afterwards is 20/20.”

TRAINERS ROOM

Yankees: Stanton was again the DH, his second start since returning from a nine-game absence due to a right ankle inflammation. He last played RF on May 22.

Twins: 1B Luis Arraez left the game with a strained right shoulder. … VAN Kyle Garlick went on the 10-day IL with a strained left hamstring, backdated to Saturday. He is one of 16 players currently inactive due to injury or COVID-19, with 10 of them having been sidelined in the past three weeks. This is Garlick’s second IL stint. He missed 13 games last month with a strained right calf.

NEXT ONE

Yankees: LHP Nortes Cortes (5-1, 1.50 ERA) takes the mound on Wednesday-evening. Cortes threw seven scoreless innings in his last start and gave up two or fewer runs in all but one of the games.

Twins: RHP Chris Archer (0-2, 3.89 ERA) throws the middle game of the series, after a season-long five innings at bat. Archer has a 3.08 ERA in 19 career starts against the Yankees.

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