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Yankees-Twins Preview

AP - Sports

The New York Yankees have ended their second five-game slide of the season, but they haven't had much success lately when Phil Hughes has been on the mound.

The Minnesota Twins, meanwhile, rarely lose when Samuel Deduno pitches at home.

This matchup of right-handers could help the Twins even this four-game set Tuesday night, as Deduno looks to improve to 4-0 at Target Field this year.

New York (43-39) avoided its first six-game skid in six seasons by scoring seven times over the final two innings to rally for a 10-4 victory in Monday's opener. The Yankees totaled 13 runs during their losing streak but Robinson Cano homered twice and Zoilo Almonte added three hits including clutch RBI singles in the eighth and ninth innings.

"We're not that team anymore that we used to have the guys that we could say, 'This guy might hit two home runs in the next inning,'" Cano said. "So we've just got to take advantage when we get men on base."

New York entered the day with the AL's third-worst average with runners in scoring position at .236 and went 4 for 16.

The Yankees have dropped seven of Hughes' last eight outings, and he's 1-5 with a 5.19 ERA in that span.

Hughes (3-7, 4.82 ERA) took a step in the right direction Thursday by limiting Texas to two runs over eight innings in a 2-0 defeat. That continued a trend in which he has received no runs of support over his last three outings.

He is 3-1 with a 2.56 ERA in five career starts against the Twins, including one in the postseason. He has limited Joe Mauer to four hits in 16 at-bats and Justin Morneau to two in 10 overall.

The Yankees will try to solve Minnesota's best starter in Deduno (4-2, 3.32), who improved to 3-0 with a 1.71 ERA in three home starts by yielding one run over seven innings Thursday in a 3-1 victory over Kansas City.

"When you are ahead of the count, you can make pitches and everything was working," Deduno told the Twins' official website after throwing 60 of 87 pitches for strikes.

Deduno is 7-1 with a 2.59 ERA in 10 career starts at Target Field, with Minnesota (36-43) winning eight of them.

Deduno's lone career start against New York on Sept. 26 was cut short after he recorded five outs due to irritation in his left eye.

Mauer figures to be back in the lineup to try to break an 0-for-16 slide. He did not start Monday after coming to the ballpark feeling under the weather.

The situation is murkier for Josh Willingham, scratched Monday due to discomfort in his left knee. He is scheduled to have an MRI on Tuesday.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi finally notched his 600th career victory and hopes that Monday's strong finish will help his team get on a roll.

"You hope that the hard work that they've been putting in starts to pay off," Girardi said. "Maybe this is the start of something.''

These pitching staffs have both issued 211 walks to tie for the AL's second-lowest total.

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