The New York Yankees may have woken up just in time.
With dissatisfied owner George Steinbrenner applying the pressure, the underachieving Yankees will look to build on their first win in over a week as they close out a three-game series with the Minnesota Twins at the Metrodome.
The $200 million Yankees have fallen far short of expectations nearly one-third of the way through the season. Steinbrenner held a conference call with manager Joe Torre and GM Brian Cashman before New York dropped the series opener 6-3 on Friday for its first six-game losing streak since 2000.
On Saturday, Steinbrenner turned up the heat through a spokesperson, saying that Torre and Cashman would be held responsible for turning around the slumping Yankees.
“George was very concerned,” said Steinbrenner’s spokesman Howard Rubenstein. “He didn’t show anger, but his fighting spirit is there, and he wants to win for New York fans. He feels we’re letting them down, but it’s really in Torre’s and Cashman’s hands right now.”
New York finally responded to the Boss’ wishes, rallying for a much-needed 4-3, 10-inning victory on Saturday. Trailing 3-0 after four innings, the Yankees got three big hits from rookie Robinson Cano, including a two-run double in the fifth, and Ruben Sierra put New York in front with a sacrifice fly in the top of the 10th.
“We’ve been ready to win for a long time. We just haven’t done it,” said a relieved Torre after the victory.
The Yankees scored more than three runs for the first time since May 27, when they rallied for their last win, a 6-3 victory over Boston.
Jacque Jones provided the offense for the Twins, hitting a three-run homer. Minnesota, which lost first-round playoff series to the Yankees in each of the previous two years, had a three-game winning streak snapped.
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