MINNEAPOLIS -- The hot-hitting New York Yankees secured a four-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins with 9-5 win on Thursday afternoon at Target Field.
Like they had all series, the Yankees banged out plenty of hits (13) and got another dominating performance on the mound to fizzle the Twins' hopes for a win at home on the Fourth of July.
"Disappointing homestand after a good start with it there with the Royals, and then coming here and letting these guys kind of take it to us," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "They outplayed us this whole series. We didn't do too much right. Go on the road, very tough road trip and we'll see how we do there."
Yankees starter David Phelps pitched 6 1/3 strong innings, giving up four runs, eight hits and no walks with five strikeouts for his sixth win of the season.
"I was just getting ahead of guys," Phelps said. "My curveball was a little better today. I was putting guys away when I got ahead of them."
Phelps' counterpart, Kyle Gibson, in his second major league start, faced a potent Yankees lineup that pounced on the rookie early in the game.
Ichiro Suzuki, who finished the game a home run short of the cycle, led off the first inning with a double to right and Zoilo Almonte moved him to third with a single. Robinson Cano, hitless in a game for the first time in the series, lifted a sacrifice fly to the warning track in left to score Suzuki.
Travis Hafner doubled to move Almonte to third and both scored on a Vernon Wells single, giving the Yankees a 3-0 lead.
The Twins gave away a run in the third. Gibson hit Hafner with a pitch. Hafner took second on a wild pitch and scored on Wells' bloop hit to left. Wells then scored on a Luis Cruz single to give the Yankees a 5-0 lead.
Phelps pitched out of a two-on, no-out jam in the third, but in the fourth the Twins got on the board. Justin Morneau hit Phelps' first offering on a line over the right-field fence.
"He was on the ball pretty good today," Gardenhire said. "Good day for him to DH; he needed that. He was able to stay loose and was able to put some nice swings on a couple of mistakes by them, and he whacked them pretty good."
The Yankees sent Gibson to the showers in the sixth with a walk to Lyle Overbay, a double by Cruz and a weak single by Alberto Gonzalez that scored Overbay to make it 6-1.
Gibson threw 79 pitches in 5-1/3 innings, giving up eight runs, 11 hits and one walk with two strikeouts.
"Some sliders early in the game, especially in the first inning, some sliders left up that they pounded pretty hard," Gardenhire said of Gibson's outing. "They were hitting some rockets off him. But he made some nice adjustments. He got his sinker going and his changeup went down a little bit later as the game went along there. But he just ran into a little bit of a buzz saw there. We ended up trying to get him out of there, didn't work out."
Reliever Brian Duensing, who allowed four runs in relief earlier in the series, gave up a triple in the sixth to Suzuki, scoring Gonzalez and Austin Romine, who had reached on a fielder's choice. Suzuki then scored on an Almonte grounder to third.
The Twins rallied in the seventh, scoring first on singles by Chris Parmelee, Aaron Hicks and Pedro Florimon to end Phelps' afternoon.
"I thought (Phelps) was pretty good," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "I thought his location was better. I thought his curveball was better. I thought he was really good with his cutter today, too. He probably ran out of gas a little at the end, but I thought he was pretty good."
Brian Dozier then scored Hicks with a single to center and Florimon scored on a Joe Mauer sacrifice fly.
In the eighth, Morneau hit his second homer of the game and sixth of the season to pull the Twins within four, but the early Yankees runs had put the game out of reach.
"After having some disappointing games in Baltimore, we come out and won all kinds of different games here and it's encouraging," Girardi said. "We swung the bats well here and that's encouraging."
NOTES: The Yankees have gone 14-3 (.824) against the American League Central this season, the second-best record by a major league team against a division within their league. ... Cano has compiled six straight games with at least one run and two hits -- the first Yankee to reach those totals in six consecutive games since Alex Rodriguez in 2007. ... Since May 20, the Twins have committed just 18 errors in 41 games, which is tied for fifth fewest in baseball. ... With two double plays in the game, the Twins have now turned 95 this season, the second most in baseball.