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New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez was not needed in the Wednesday's 8-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins, and the off day was used to ice his sore left foot. Rodriguez fouled a ball off the top of his foot in his final at-bat in Tuesday's 5-4 loss.
According to a report by Chad Jennings of LoHud.com, Rodriguez and manager Joe Girardi are both hopefully the third baseman could return for Thursday's series opener at the Toronto Blue Jays. However, Rodriguez admitted playing on the Roger Centres field turf isn't the best way to heal a foot injury.
"Even feeling good, four days on turf is a little tough on a lot of our guys," Rodriguez said. "That’s never something where you have a lot of fun."
Without Rodriguez, the Yankees were able to tally eight runs, six coming in the third inning, to earn a victory that helped them take the three-game series and maintain a lead in the American League East Division Standings. Entering Wednesday night, the Yankees lead the second-place Baltimore Orioles by two full games. The Orioles play the Blue Jays Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. ET.
Behind eight strong innings from ace CC Sabathia and a six-run third inning Wednesday afternoon, the New York Yankees defeated the Minnesota Twins, 8-2, at Target Field. The victory helped the Yankees (90-65) take the three-game series and push their lead in the American League East Division to two full games.
That lead could stay stagnant or be minimized by a half game, depending on the results of Wednesday night's contest between the second-place Baltimore Orioles (88-67) and Toronto Blue Jays (68-86) starting at 7:05 p.m. ET. New York's magic number to clinch a postseason berth is now at four.
Sabathia (14-6) finished the game allowing just two runs on six hits while striking out 10 batters. His stellar outing was supported by a slew of runs that mostly came in a six-run third inning that helped the Yankees take an early 6-1 lead.
The losing pitcher was Brian Duensing (4-11) who allowed six runs in just one inning of work.
On Friday, the Yankees will continue their road trip, as they travel to Toronto for a four-game series with the Blue Jays.
The New York Yankees continue to hold a slim 1½-game lead over the Baltimore Orioles with only eight games remaining. The Yanks will look to take the rubber game of their series against the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday night, then take off to Toronto for a four game set with the Blue Jays. The season ends with three games against the Boston Red Sox in the Bronx.
The Orioles only have seven games remaining on their schedule, and are trying to gain on the Yankees to avoid playing in the one game wildcard playoff. The O's are currently in the first wildcard spot, with the Oakland Athletics a half game behind them. Baltimore will try to avoid a third straight loss to the Blue Jays tonight before taking on the Red Sox for three games starting on Thursday. Their regular season ends with three games in Tampa against the Rays, who sit three games back for the wildcard and five games back in the AL East. The Rays play in Boston tonight, then go to Chicago for four games against the White Sox before heading home to end the regular season against the Orioles.
The New York Yankees send CC Sabathia to the mound looking to rebound from a tough loss to the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday afternoon in the rubber game between the Twins and Yankees from Target Field on Wednesday.
The Twins batted around in the seventh inning against Yankees pitching on their way to a 5-4 victory Tuesday night. Minnesota counters with Samuel Deduno, who looks to keep the Yankees' offense quiet in the afternoon showdown.
With just eight games remaining in the season, the Yankees are 1½ games up on the Baltimore Orioles in the American League East race, and hold a magic number of seven. Any combination of seven Yankee wins or Oriole losses would give the Yankees the newly more important division title.
Date and Time: Sept. 26, 1:05 p.m.
Location: Target Field, Minneapolis, Minn.
TV: YES (New York), FSNO (Minnesota), MLB.tv
Radio: WCBS (New York), TIBN (Minnesota)
Hughes had given up just one run through his first six innings, but loaded the bases in the seventh before manager Joe Girardi pulled the starter in favor of Boone Logan.
Logan ended up giving up a run on a wild pitch, then surrendered a double to Denard Span, giving the Twins two more in the frame. A Joe Mauer single scored Span from second base to give the Twins a 5-3 lead before Justin Morneau fouled out to end the inning.
The Yankees had built a 3-1 lead on the strength of home runs from Nick Swisher and Russell Martin earlier in the game. A two-out, ninth-inning homer from pinch hitter Andruw Jones brought the score to 5-4, but the Yankees could not score again.
The Yankees (89-65) remain 1½ games ahead of the Baltimore Orioles in the American League East race with eight games remaining.
The major shift in the Yankees lineup is that Robinson Cano will take a night off from fielding duties to be the designated hitter. It's his ninth start at DH on the year, a career high. That means Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez will both play the field, and that Eric Chavez will be on the bench after going 3-for-4 with a homer last night. In his place is Jayson Nix, who will bat ninth like Chavez did last night.
Here's the full lineup:
1. Derek Jeter (R) SS
2. Ichiro Suzuki (L) RF
3. Alex Rodriguez (R) 3B
4. Robinson Cano (L) DH
5. Nick Swisher (S) 1B
6. Curtis Granderson (L) CF
7. Russell Martin (R) C
8. Raul Ibanez (L) LF
9. Jayson Nix (R) 2B
Martin and Ibanez are switched in the order from last night's lineup despite Ibanez' 2-for-4 outing with a homer Monday, likely so Joe Girardi's lineup can alternate between righties and lefties each batter.
Here's how the Twins are set up:
The Yankees currently hold a 1.5 game lead over the Baltimore Orioles in the AL East.
Phil Hughes (16-12, 4.05) takes the mound for New York looking to win his fourth straight start. Hughes allowed four runs but struck out nine in five innings of work his last time out.
Esmerling Vasquez (0-2, 6.75) gets the start for the Twins. Vasquez has not won, or even managed to post a quality start in four outings this year, but enters Tuesday's game looking to play spoiler to the playoff hopeful New York Yankees. Vasquez allowed three earned runs on six hits in 5.2 innings of work in his last start.
Game Time: 8:10 p.m. ET
Location: Target Field, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Radio: WCBS 880, WADO 1280
For complete MLB standings, click here.
Nick Swisher got the slugfest started early in the first inning with his 24th home run of the year to put the Yankees ahead, 3-0. Curtis Granderson extended the lead in the fourth inning with a home run of his own -- a solo blast which put the lead at 4-0. Raul Ibanez and Eric Chavez joined the offensive outburst in the seventh inning, each hitting solo home runs to extend the Yankees lead even further, 6-0.
Minnesota finally got on the scoreboard in the eighth inning on a Pedro Florimon solo home run to cut the lead to 6-1. They scored again in the ninth inning, plating two runs on a Chris Parmelee triple, but their rally fell short as David Robertson closed it out for the Yankees.
Andy Pettitte got the win for New York, his fifth of the season. Pettitte pitched six scoreless innings, allowing seven hits and striking out three. For Minnesota, Liam Hendriks got the loss, dropping his record to 1-8 on the season. Hendriks allowed six runs on eight hits in 6 ⅓ innings of work.
With the Baltimore Orioles losing Monday night to the Toronto Blue Jays, 9-5, the Yankees extended their lead to 1 ½ games in the AL East. The Yankees have nine games remaining, while Baltimore has only eight games remaining. Click here for complete MLB standings.
The Yankees begin a three-game series at the Twins on Monday.