W: Blackburn (6-1, 4.28)
L: Vazquez (3-5, 6.86)
Thursday brought the unwelcomed return of last week’s struggles. The Yankees bats failed to back up Javier Vazquez, who struggled again, and the bullpen faltered when they were called upon.
The Twins were able to dodge a four game sweep at the hands of the Yankees, as they beat the Bronx Bombers, 8-2.
The Yankees only offense came from their red hot second baseman, Robinson Cano. Cano had a huge RBI-single in the fourth inning, which made it a 3-1 game at the time. Cano also came through with an RBI-double to right field, which cut the lead to 4-2.
Vazquez put the Yankees in a hole during the first two innings, and they were unable to work their way out of it. In the first inning, Justin Morneau hit a sac-fly to left, which gave the Twins their first lead of the night.
In the second inning, Jason Kubel doubled another run home, and then Alexi Casilla knocked in a run on a double play.
After Cano’s fourth inning double, Minnesota earned that run back with a Jim Thome sac-fly.
Cano once again helped cut the lead down with his rbi-double, but Minnesota again had an answer. Jason Kubel hit a solo homer to extend the lead back to three runs.
Vazquez was yanked shortly after, and Chan Ho Park entered in relief, and that was once again a complete disaster.
Park escaped the 6th inning, but fell apart in the 7th inning. Park walked Joe Mauer and gave up a single to Morneau, and then he was relieved of his duties by Damaso Marte. Marte did his job, as he retired lefty batter Jim Thome.
Chad Gaudin came in to replace Marte, and after striking out Michael Cuddyer, he gave up a three-run homer to Jason Kubel. The rout was on after that as the Twins took full control.
The Yankees finished with ten hits, but only two runs. Seven of the starting nine for New York had at least one hit, but nobody aside from Cano could deliver a clutch hit to keep the Yanks in the game.
With the Yankee loss and the Rays win, the Rays now hold a 4.5 game lead over the Yankees.
The Bronx Bombers finally return home to Yankee Stadium, and finally play a weak opponent, as the Cleveland Indians come to town.
Phil Hughes (5-1, 2.72) will challenge Cleveland’s ace, Fausto Carmona (4-2, 3.45). First pitch is set for 7:05 ET.
You can follow us on Twitter: @RSBronxBombers and @ChrisEmma51