The Minnesota Twins erased a four-run deficit in the eighth to beat the New York Yankees for the first time this season, with a final score of 5-4 in extra innings. 

It was the second straight night the Twins mounted a late comeback, only this time it worked: they tied the Yankees’ four-run lead in the eighth inning to bail out Brian Duensing.

The Twins batted eight and had four runs in an eighth inning rally that damaged the Bombers’ lead. The Twins picked up their first run on a bases loaded walk to Joe Mauer, which scored Danny Valencia. The real damage was done the very next batter, when Delmon Young gashed the Yankees’ defense with a bases-clearing double to right.

The Yankees would never match the lead, as the Twins dragged them into extras where Joe Mauer batted in Denard Span for the go-ahead run in the top half of the tenth.

The pitching again was very vomit-inducing to watch. Brian Duensing got sliced up and served to the Yankees’ batters who got all their runs off of home runs.

Duensing lasted seven full innings and Matt Capps finished the final two innings of regulation, with Joe Nathan finishing the game facing just three batters.

But just as the Yankees exploited the Twins’ weakness in starting pitching, the Twins turned the tables and exploited a weakness of the Yankees: their bullpen.

C.C. Sabathia went seven full scoreless innings before talking a seat with what he thought was a sure win. That is, until Rafael Soriano came in and went only two thirds of an inning.

But it was in that two-thids of an inning that the damage was done. Mariano Rivera was untouchable as usual, but as soon as Boone Logan entered the game, the Twins took full advantage.

The Twins will take the win, and the fact they fought back and overpowered the Yankees does, in a way, numb the effects of the starting pitching, but it doesn’t erase the performance.

The Twins still allowed four runs, all on home runs and all from their starter Duensing. The bright spot of his night was fanning seven batters, including the aging Jorge Posada twice. Also, the fact he went seven full, the first time a Twins pitcher has done so all season.

Minnesota sends Carl Pavano to the mound tomorrow to duke it out against Freddy Garcia, and the Tuesday night win gives an incredible confidence booster. But the Twins usually average about a win a year against the Bombers, and to have that already under their belt is nice, but to get another would be an amazing high for this team.

Catch tomorrow’s game, as the ESPN Wednesday Night Baseball Game of the Week.


Next Three Up:

Wed. – @NYY (Pavano, 0-1 vs Garcia, 0-0)

Thu.  – @NYY (Liriano, 0-1 vs. Burnett, 1-0)

Fri. – vs OAK (Blackburn, 1-0 vs Anderson, 0-0)

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