NEW YORK -- Minnesota's Francisco Liriano's early-season woes continued on Tuesday as the Twins' flame-throwing lefty was knocked out early by the New York Yankees as the Bronx Bombers cruised to an 8-3 win in the second of a four-game series in front of 40,194 at Yankee Stadium.
A four-hit, four-run outburst in the Yankees' third, highlighted by backup catcher Chris Stewart's two-run single, ended another ugly outing for Liriano. It marked the third time in as many starts that Liriano gave up five runs without getting past the fifth inning.
Meanwhile, Yankees ace CC Sabathia, after himself struggling early on, settled down and pitched well into the eighth inning en route to his first win of the year.
The big lefty is now 9-0 against the Twins in his last 11 starts (regular season and postseason) dating back to August of 2007.
Twins leftfielder Josh Willingham hammered a 1-1 Sabathia pitch over the wall in right center leading off the second inning to open the scoring with his fifth home run of the year.
New York struck back in the home second when Brett Gardner drove in Curtis Granderson with an RBI double.
Minnesota came right back with two runs in the third - helped by an ejection. Twins centerfielder Denard Span was ejected in the middle of his at-bat for arguing a called strike by home plate umpire Greg Gibson. Manager Ron Gardenhire came out to complain and was then also ejected by Gibson. Replacing Span, pinch-hitter Clete Thomas promptly doubled to drive in second baseman Alex Casilla, who'd singled and moved to second on a Sabathia balk.
Shortstop Jamey Carroll singled to send Thomas home to increase the Twins' lead to 3-1.
The Yankees responded, though, big time. With one out, singles by Andruw Jones, Granderson and shortstop Eduardo Nunez brought in one run, and after Gardner walked to load the bases, Stewart stroked a single to right to end Liriano's night. With Matt Maloney on in relief, Derek Jeter's sacrifice fly brought in another run to stake Sabathia to a 5-3 lead.
After Carroll's single in the third, Sabathia was in complete command. At one point he retired 13 Twins in order, and he finished the night with a three-run, four-hit, six-strikeout, one-walk performance over 7 1/3 innings. David Robertson and Corey Wade finished up for New York.
NOTES: Mark Teixeira was a late scratch from the Yankee lineup with what was announced shortly before game time as "flu-like symptoms." Nick Swisher started at first in Teixeira's place...with his home run, Willingham extended his season-opening hitting streak to 11 games, tying the Twins team record set by Jacques Jones in 2002...Gardenhire's ejection was the 61st of the fiery manager's career.