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Yankees thump Twins, A-Rod keeps swinging hot bat

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

NEW YORK -- Just like that, Alex Rodriguez is getting curtain calls at Yankee Stadium instead of boos.

A day after breaking out of a slump, Rodriguez homered twice and drove in three runs Friday night, earning a second call for the second straight game in New York's 8-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins.

"He went through a tough time but it looks like he's out of it, at least for the time being," teammate Johnny Damon said. "But there'll be microscopes out, regardless of what he does."

Rodriguez homered in the second inning off Carlos Silva (8-13) to put the Yankees ahead, had a bases-loaded single in the four-run fifth, then hit his 29th homer of the season in the seventh against Matt Guerrier. It was just the third multihomer game of the year for A-Rod, the first since July 2.

Yankees manager Joe Torre told him to walk up the dugout steps to acknowledge the applause following the second homer.

"Unless Joe tells me to go, it's just not my nature," Rodriguez said. "I don't feel real comfortable doing that."

He was in a 1-for-24 slump before getting three hits Thursday against Detroit, including a home run.

"Before it seemed like he was just seeing the ball really late, wasn't really sure what was going on," Damon said. "Today it seemed like he saw the pitches out of the pitcher's hand."

In a matchup with implications on the pennant and batting races, Derek Jeter went 3-for-5 to raise his average to .342.

Minnesota's Joe Mauer ended an 0-for-16 slide with a single to center in the fourth that bounced out of the web of Damon's glove when he tried for a sliding catch. Mauer went 1-for-2 with a walk and is batting a league-leading .350. That's down from .361 before the hitless streak, one at-bat shy of his career high.

"I felt a lot better tonight," Mauer said. "There are a lot games left, and we're trying to get into the playoffs. I don't look at it as a matchup."

Cory Lidle (3-2) allowed two hits and two walks in six scoreless innings. After hitless relief by Mike Myers, Brian Bruney and Octavio Dotel, T.J. Beam gave up an RBI double to Justin Morneau in a two-hit ninth.

New York remained a season-high eight games ahead of Boston in the AL East. Minnesota, which lost for the fourth time in five games, stayed a half-game behind Chicago in the AL wild-card race.

Silva gave up six runs -- four earned -- and nine hits in four-plus innings, hurt by Morneau's throwing error. He dropped to 0-4 in his last five starts.

With injuries to Francisco Lirano and Brad Radke, who was diagnosed Friday with a stress fracture to his pitching shoulder, Silva was the most experienced starter the Twins had against the Yankees. Rookies Scott Baker (3-7) and Matt Garza (1-2) are scheduled to start the final two games of the series -- which are threatened by rain -- and Boof Bonser (3-5) also is in the rotation along with ace Johan Santana (16-5).

"At least now we know what we're dealing with," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We're going to go with a young staff. There is no one left in the minors, so they've got to get it done."

Phil Nevin, acquired from the Chicago Cubs on Thursday night, started at designated hitter and batted seventh, striking out twice and walking twice.

Jeter singled leading off the third and scored on Bobby Abreu's single. Then, after Damon singled opening the fifth, Jeter had a hit-and-run single through the hole created when second baseman Nick Punto -- usually a third baseman -- went to cover the base.

Abreu hit an RBI single, and when Jason Giambi grounded sharply to first, Morneau's throw to second was off line and popped out of shortstop Jason Bartlett's glove. Rodriguez hit an RBI single -- he's 8-for-17 (.471) this year with the bases loaded -- that chased Silva. Robinson Cano singled in a run off Guerrier and Aaron Guiel hit an RBI grounder.

"We didn't catch the ball very well. We didn't pitch the ball very well, and obviously our offense didn't produce," Gardenhire said. "We just stunk. We are a better team than that."

Notes

  • On a night of intermittent rain and blustery wind, attendance was far below the announced sellout crowd of 54,311. Jorge Posada got a double in the seventh when CF Torii Hunter backed up to near the warning track only to have the ball drop about 15 feet in front of him.
  • Rodriguez has 43 multihomer games in his career.
  • Minnesota's Alexi Casilla made his major league debut when he pinch hit in the eighth. He ran to first when Dotel threw a ball, but the umpires said that only made the count full. He returned and fouled off a pitch, then walked. "It takes five balls to walk in this ballpark," Gardenhire said. "I came in here and checked. He knew he walked."
  • The Yankees clinched their 15th straight winning season at home.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Alex Rodriguez high-fives third base coach Larry Bowa after his first home run.  (AP)
Alex Rodriguez high-fives third base coach Larry Bowa after his first home run. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

A. Rodriguez
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 2
RBI 3
New York

C. Lidle
IP 6.0
H 2
ER 0
BB 2
K 4
 
Minnesota Twins
Jason Tyner, LF4000001
Nick Punto, 2B3000020
   a- Alexi Casilla, PH-2B0000100
Joe Mauer, C2010100
   b- Chris Heintz, PH-C1000001
Michael Cuddyer, RF4110002
Justin Morneau, 1B4021000
Torii Hunter, CF3000022
   c- Lew Ford, PH1000001
Phil Nevin, DH2000221
Luis Rodriguez, 3B4000002
Jason Bartlett, SS3000001
Totals311414611 
a-walked for Punto in the 8th
b-grounded out for Mauer in the 8th
c-grounded out for Hunter in the 9th
Batting
2B - Justin Morneau (, Beam)
RBI - Justin Morneau ()
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Rodriguez-Punto-Morneau, Morneau-Bartlett
E - Justin Morneau (, ), Nick Punto (, ), Jason Tyner (, )
Minnesota Twins
Carlos Silva (L,-) 4964141
Matt Guerrier 2422121
Willie Eyre 2100100
Pitches-Strikes - Carlos Silva 82-50, Matt Guerrier 44-27, Willie Eyre 29-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Carlos Silva 6-3, Matt Guerrier 3-0, Willie Eyre 4-2
Batters Faced - Carlos Silva 23, Matt Guerrier 10, Willie Eyre 8
New York Yankees
Johnny Damon, CF5110017
Derek Jeter, SS5230002
Bobby Abreu, RF5132011
Jason Giambi, DH5100013
Alex Rodriguez, 3B5233001
    Nick Green, 3B0000000
Jorge Posada, C3110113
    Sal Fasano, C0000000
Robinson Cano, 2B4011012
Aaron Guiel, 1B3001111
Melky Cabrera, LF3021101
Totals3881483621 
Batting
2B - Jorge Posada (, Guerrier)
HR - Alex Rodriguez 2 (, Silva, Guerrier)
RBI - Bobby Abreu 2 (), Alex Rodriguez 3 (), Robinson Cano (), Aaron Guiel (), Melky Cabrera ()
SB - Derek Jeter (, 2nd base off Silva/Mauer)
Team LOB - 9
New York Yankees
Cory Lidle (W,-) 6200240
Mike Myers 0.1000000
Brian Bruney 0.2000110
Octavio Dotel 1000100
T.J. Beam 1211010
Pitches-Strikes - Cory Lidle 97-61, Mike Myers 2-1, Brian Bruney 20-13, Octavio Dotel 20-11, T.J. Beam 23-17
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Cory Lidle 10-4, Brian Bruney 1-0, Octavio Dotel 2-1, T.J. Beam 2-0
Batters Faced - Cory Lidle 22, Mike Myers 1, Brian Bruney 3, Octavio Dotel 4, T.J. Beam 5
Game Information
Attendance - 54311
Game Time - 3:13
Temperature - 66
Umpires - Home - Tim Welke, First Base - Jim Reynolds, Second Base - Kerwin Danley, Third Base - Gary Cederstrom