Pettitte looks to rebound from a shaky first outing when the Yankees continue their three-game series with the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday at the Metrodome.
Carl Pavano pitched seven strong innings in Monday’s series-opening, 8-2 win over the Twins (4-2) for his first victory since May 22, 2005. The Yankees’ first five starting pitchers of the season had all failed to reach the sixth inning during a chilly homestand that included one postponement.
“For the first time, we had a temperature the guys could stay loose in,” manager Joe Torre said of Monday’s contest in the temperature-controlled Metrodome.
Pettitte (0-0, 3.60 ERA) started New York’s second game of the season last Thursday, when he gave up four runs - two earned - in four innings but did not receive a decision in a 7-6 loss to Tampa Bay. The start was the first as a Yankee since the 2003 World Series for Pettitte, who spent the last three seasons with his hometown Houston Astros.
“It was definitely not what you wanted to get out of your first outing being back,” said Pettitte, who helped the Yankees (3-3) win four World Series titles and six AL pennants from 1995-2003. “Extremely disappointing.”
The 34-year-old left-hander also pitched one inning of scoreless relief in the Yankees’ 6-4 loss to Baltimore on Sunday.
Pettitte is 7-5 with a 3.71 ERA in 16 career starts against the Twins and 4-4 with a 3.78 ERA in 10 outings at the Metrodome.
Third baseman Alex Rodriguez homered for the third straight game on Monday, and Bobby Abreu went 3-for-5 with a homer and four RBIs for the Yankees. Rodriguez, who leads the majors with five home runs and 13 RBIs, became the first player in team history to hit five homers in the first six games.
Center fielder Johnny Damon, who has been nursing a mildly strained right calf muscle, started for the first time since the season opener and went 2-for-4 with two runs scored.
Torii Hunter went 2-for-3 with an RBI double and Jason Kubel singled in a run for the Twins, who swept a season-opening three-game series with Baltimore before splitting two games with the White Sox in a series shortened due to cold weather in Chicago.
After Monday’s game, Minnesota placed starting left fielder Rondell White and backup corner infielder Jeff Cirillo on the 15-day disabled list. Cirillo, who was placed on the DL retroactive to Sunday, has torn cartilage in his left knee and will likely be out for about a month.
White, whose DL date is retroactive to Wednesday, hurt himself in Chicago while skipping out of the dugout during warmups.
Boof Bonser (0-0, 3.00) gets the ball for the Twins in this contest. The right-hander made his season debut last Tuesday, allowing two runs and three hits in six innings but not recording a decision in a 3-2 win over Baltimore.
“I guess you can say I found it there toward the end,” Bonser, who gave up both runs in the third inning, told the Twins’ official Web site. “A little mechanics, a little struggle at the beginning, but I settled down.”
Bonser has never faced the Yankees.