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Minnesota at New York

Scoreboard
Minnesota «10010004 6100
N.Y. Yankees00100000 120

Morneau leads offense before rain secures Twins victory

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

NEW YORK -- Crack! Alex Rodriguez connected on a big swing and sent a long drive soaring toward the black batter's eye beyond the center-field fence.

It definitely sounded like a home run. And right off the bat, it looked like a no-doubter.

Not on this day, though.

Torii Hunter took a few steps back, stopped in his tracks and calmly waited as a fierce wind pushed the ball down until it landed softly in his glove.

"That's as good as I can hit it," Rodriguez said. "I really thought it was going somewhere."

A gusting wind also kept Robinson Cano's deep drive in the ballpark, and the Minnesota Twins beat the New York Yankees 6-1 Saturday in a game called during the eighth inning because of rain.

"We all saw the conditions. They were pretty ugly," Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I'm glad we got through the day and no one got killed."

Scott Baker shut down New York's loaded lineup for the second time this season, pitching the Twins to only their second victory in their past 14 games at Yankee Stadium.

Justin Morneau hit a three-run homer for Minnesota and Hunter also connected -- two line shots that cut right through the wind from the remnants of Tropical Storm Ernesto.

"My ball found a tunnel," Hunter said. "I must have been lucky."

Minnesota, which began the day a half-game behind Chicago in the AL wild-card race, had lost four of five. But after scoring no more than three runs in their previous five games, the Twins outhit New York 10-2 and got effective work from a pair of relievers.

The Yankees remained eight games ahead of second-place Boston in the AL East.

Recalled from the minors Friday, Baker (4-7) allowed only two hits in five innings for his first big league win since July 17 against Tampa Bay.

"He throws up in the zone really well," Rodriguez said. "He works up unusually often for a young pitcher."

Baker also beat Mike Mussina and the Yankees 5-1 on April 14 in Minnesota, yielding just three hits in seven innings.

This time, he defeated rookie Jeff Karstens (1-1) in a matchup of 23-year-old right-handers.

Making his Yankee Stadium debut, Karstens was impressive. Coming off a road win against the Los Angeles Angels, he gave up only two runs and six hits in seven innings.

"He's good," Hunter said. "That curveball is sick."

Still, Karstens was handed his first loss at any level since May 9 with Triple-A Columbus. And with Mussina ready to come off the disabled list, Karstens might not get another start for a while.

"I was very impressed by him being able to keep his composure through the bad weather and all," Yankees catcher Sal Fasano said. "He controlled the game for the most part."

Minnesota lefty Dennys Reyes worked 1 2/3 perfect innings and Jesse Crain got one out for his second major league save -- his first this season.

With a steady rain intensifying, umpires halted play after Crain walked pinch-hitter Bernie Williams to start the bottom of the eighth.

The game was called after a 44-minute delay.

Paid attendance was 53,220, but most of the seats at Yankee Stadium were empty on a blustery afternoon.

The wind wreaked havoc with popups and fly balls all day, though the heavy residual rain that was expected from Ernesto held off until the late innings.

"I was scared," Hunter said. "You don't play in wind like that every day."

Joe Mauer's first-inning single set up Michael Cuddyer's shallow sacrifice fly, putting Minnesota ahead.

The Yankees tied it in the third on a two-out RBI double by Derek Jeter, which extended his hitting streak to 13 games -- matching his season high.

Hunter hit his 22nd homer in the fourth, a solo shot for a 2-1 edge.

Rodriguez made solid contact in the bottom half, but the wind turned his drive into an easy out.

Hunter mouthed "Wow!" after making the catch. A-Rod shook his head in disbelief, smiled as he rounded first and told manager Joe Torre he had crushed it.

"Any other day, I'm telling you, that would have hit that black stuff out there," Hunter said. "That would have been one of the longest home runs ever in this stadium."

New York reliever Ron Villone walked Mauer with one out in the eighth, and Cuddyer singled before Morneau lined an 0-2 pitch the other way for his 33rd home run. The three RBI gave him 114 for the season.

Hunter singled and scored on Brian Bruney's wild pitch, making it 6-1.

Notes

  • Baker entered 1-7 in 10 starts with a 6.38 ERA against opponents he had faced before.
  • Mussina (strained right groin) is scheduled to come off the disabled list in time to start Tuesday night in Kansas City.
 
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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Oh, the frustration and humiliation of a strikeout. Bobby Abreu is feeling it, and Joe Mauer loves it.  (AP)
Oh, the frustration and humiliation of a strikeout. Bobby Abreu is feeling it, and Joe Mauer loves it. (AP)

Players of the Game
Minnesota

J. Morneau
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
Minnesota

S. Baker
IP 5.0
H 2
ER 1
BB 3
K 4
 
Minnesota Twins
Nick Punto, 2B4010002
Luis Rodriguez, 3B4110021
Joe Mauer, C3110100
Michael Cuddyer, RF3111001
Justin Morneau, 1B4123000
Torii Hunter, CF4221002
Phil Nevin, DH4010000
Rondell White, LF2000100
    Lew Ford, LF1000012
Jason Bartlett, SS4010001
Totals336105239 
Batting
HR - Justin Morneau (, Villone), Torii Hunter (, Karstens)
SF - Michael Cuddyer ()
RBI - Michael Cuddyer (), Justin Morneau 3 (), Torii Hunter ()
Team LOB - 6
Minnesota Twins
Scott Baker (W,-) 5211340
Dennys Reyes (H,) 1.2000010
Jesse Crain (S,) 0.1000100
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Baker 87-54, Dennys Reyes 14-10, Jesse Crain 6-2
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Baker 4-7, Dennys Reyes 3-1, Jesse Crain 1-0
Batters Faced - Scott Baker 20, Dennys Reyes 5, Jesse Crain 2
New York Yankees
Johnny Damon, CF3010001
Derek Jeter, SS2011112
Bobby Abreu, RF3000022
Jason Giambi, DH3000011
Alex Rodriguez, 3B3000010
Robinson Cano, 2B3000000
Melky Cabrera, LF3000000
Aaron Guiel, 1B1100100
   a- Craig Wilson, PH-1B1000000
Sal Fasano, C0000100
   b- Bernie Williams, PH0000100
Totals22121456 
a-grounded out for Guiel in the 7th
b-walked for Fasano in the 8th
Batting
2B - Derek Jeter (, Baker)
SH - Sal Fasano ()
RBI - Derek Jeter ()
2-OUT RBI - Derek Jeter ()
Team LOB - 5
New York Yankees
Jeff Karstens (L,-) 7622111
Ron Villone 0.1344111
Brian Bruney 0.2100010
WP - Brian Bruney ()
Pitches-Strikes - Jeff Karstens 97-64, Ron Villone 18-11, Brian Bruney 13-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeff Karstens 9-11
Batters Faced - Jeff Karstens 28, Ron Villone 5, Brian Bruney 3
Game Information
Attendance - 53220
Game Time - 2:28
Temperature - 64
Umpires - Home - Jim Reynolds, First Base - Kerwin Danley, Second Base - Gary Cederstrom, Third Base - Tim Welke