Minnesota (2-3) at New York (3-2)

Partly Cloudy Currently: New York, NY
Temp: 52° F
  • Game info: 1:05 pm EDT Thu Apr 7, 2011
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Minnesota is in position to win two straight over the New York Yankees for the first time in nearly three years. It’s been even longer since the Twins accomplished that feat in the Bronx.

The Twins hope the Wednesday’s rainout won’t halt their momentum as they try to win the abbreviated four-game series at Yankee Stadium on Thursday.

After falling 4-3 in Monday’s opener, Minnesota (2-3) overcame 4-0 deficit by taking advantage of five walks by New York’s relievers in the last three innings and winning 5-4 on Joe Mauer’s(notes) go-ahead single in the 10th on Tuesday.

That broke a four-game skid to New York that included a three-game sweep in last year’s division series, and was just the third victory in the last 21 meetings with the Yankees, including playoffs.

The Twins have gone 7-31 in their last 38 in the Bronx. They last won two in a row over New York (3-2) on June 1-2, 2008. Minnesota has not won consecutive games in the Bronx in one season since April 24-25, 2000.

“It’s never easy to play (New York), no matter where the game is. And even when you get a lead, those guys know how to win,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.

Mauer had two RBIs as the Twins scored their most runs on the young season Tuesday. Just 2 for 14 in four games, Mauer was to have the day off Wednesday, but now will catch Francisco Liriano(notes) as he replaces originally scheduled starter Carl Pavano(notes).

Liriano looks to bounce back after he allowed four runs, two homers and walked five in 4 1-3 innings of a 6-1 loss at Toronto on Saturday.

The left-hander will need to be better if he wants to beat the Yankees for the first time. Liriano is 0-2 with a 3.90 ERA in five career starts versus New York, including the postseason.

The Yankees also plan to stay on schedule by starting A.J. Burnett(notes) on Thursday and pushing Freddy Garcia’s(notes) New York debut to next week.

Coming off a disappointing 10-15 season in 2010, Burnett allowed three runs and struck out six with one walk in five innings of a 10-6 win over Detroit on Saturday.

“It’s a positive step. I was able to use my second and third pitches,” Burnett said.

The right-hander has pitched well against Minnesota, going 3-1 with a 3.22 ERA in eight starts. Mauer, however, is batting .412 with a double and home run against Burnett.

Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira(notes) continued his outstanding start Tuesday, hitting a three-run homer in the first inning. He is batting .333 with four home runs and 10 RBIs, Teixeira, however, is 3 for 16 with eight strikeouts against Liriano. One of those hits was a homer.

New York had planned to rest star Derek Jeter(notes) and catcher Russell Martin(notes) on Wednesday, but both could be in the lineup for the finale.

Martin is 6 for 17 with a homer and three RBIs for his new team.

No make-up date was announced for the rainout. The four-game series is the only time the Twins visit the Yankees this season, though playing a doubleheader wasn’t an option because Minnesota opens its home schedule Friday afternoon against Oakland.

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Starting Pitchers

F. Liriano Pit vs. A. Burnett Pit
9-10 Record 11-11
5.09 ERA 5.15
112 K 173
75 BB 83
1.49 WHIP 1.43


Thursday, Apr 7