Ortiz dominated for eight innings, and his Twins teammates revived their bats against reliever Kyle Farnsworth in a 5-1 victory over the Yankees on Wednesday night.
Alex Rodriguez's fourth-inning sacrifice fly was the only damage against Ortiz (2-0), who allowed three hits and one walk before yielding to Joe Nathan for the ninth. Ortiz struck out Rodriguez twice and stopped A-Rod's home run streak at four games.
The Yankees certainly didn't need the strained left hamstring that forced Mussina from the mound in the third inning.
Nineteen-game winner Chien-Ming Wang already is on the disabled list with a strained right hamstring, pitching prospects Jeff Karstens and Humberto Sanchez are also out, and fifth starter Darrell Rasner left his first outing early because of a blister. Oh, and left fielder Hideki Matsui has a strained left hamstring, too, which sent him to the DL on Sunday.
Manager Joe Torre said Mussina probably will miss his next start, Tuesday against Cleveland, but wasn't ready to deactivate the 38-year-old just yet.
Still, it didn't sound good.
"As soon as I heard hamstring," Torre said, "I knew we had a problem."
New York's hitters had their own problems against Ortiz, who started with nine consecutive outs and effectively mixed his pitches -- and their location. A late free-agent addition who commanded a mere $3.1 million for one season during a winter when the market when wild, Ortiz has allowed three runs and eight hits in 15 innings.
The Twins have been impressed by his energy and exuberance, too. He was so excited to take the mound that he left the dugout too early, when the Yankees were still being introduced. Pitching coach Rick Anderson has tried to get Ortiz to relax and avoid the big inning, and he's been happy with the results.
"That's exactly what you want to see," Anderson said.
"I want to keep it going like that," Ortiz said.
Sean Henn replaced Mussina in the third and will likely take his place in the rotation next week. Henn pitched well for 3 1/3 innings until Michael Cuddyer tied the game in the sixth with an RBI single after Joe Mauer dropped down the first sacrifice bunt of his professional career.
The Twins had only six runs in their past four games, but Farnsworth (0-1) wasn't nearly as successful. He retired only one out in the eighth inning, which began with a walk to Luis Castillo.
Singles by Mauer and Cuddyer and doubles by Justin Morneau and Torii Hunter drove in runs to break open the game against Farnsworth.
"He made his own mess," Torre said.
Mussina, who broke into the majors with Baltimore in 1991, is 20-5 with a 3.14 in 29 career starts against Minnesota. This one ended much earlier than expected.
After singles by Luis Rodriguez and Alexi Casilla to begin the third, Mussina went to a 2-1 count on Castillo and motioned to the dugout. Pitching coach Ron Guidry visited the mound, followed by a trainer and manager Joe Torre, and Mussina walked off after the brief conference.
"I don't limp, and I can still touch my toes," Mussina said afterward. "I felt something the first hitter of the inning. I tried to work through it, but it wasn't going to happen."
|The Yankees meet on the mound just before Mike Mussina (second from right) is removed. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
Minnesota Twins Royal Blue Badge Reel
$3.95 Shop Now!
|New York Yankees|
|Johnny Damon, CF||4||1||2||0||0||0||0||.444|
|Derek Jeter, SS||3||0||1||0||1||0||1||.353|
|Bobby Abreu, RF||4||0||0||0||0||0||3||.281|
|Alex Rodriguez, 3B||3||0||1||1||0||2||0||.355|
|Jason Giambi, DH||4||0||0||0||0||0||3||.167|
|Jorge Posada, C||4||0||1||0||0||0||2||.323|
|Robinson Cano, 2B||3||0||0||0||0||2||1||.286|
|Doug Mientkiewicz, 1B||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||.158|
|Melky Cabrera, LF||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||.179|
|2B - Alex Rodriguez (4, Nathan)|
|SF - Alex Rodriguez (1)|
|RBI - Alex Rodriguez (16)|
|SB - Johnny Damon (2, 2nd base off Ortiz/Mauer)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|DP - Mussina-Jeter-Mientkiewicz, Jeter-Cano|
|New York Yankees|
|Scott Proctor (BS,1)||0.2||1||0||0||0||0||0||5.40|
|Kyle Farnsworth (L,0-1)||0.1||4||4||4||1||1||0||10.80|
|WP - Kyle Farnsworth (1)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Mike Mussina 40-24, Sean Henn 46-31, Scott Proctor 11-8, Luis Vizcaino 12-6, Kyle Farnsworth 18-9, Mike Myers 4-3|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Mussina 3-2, Sean Henn 3-5, Scott Proctor 1-1, Luis Vizcaino 1-2|
|Batters Faced - Mike Mussina 9, Sean Henn 12, Scott Proctor 3, Luis Vizcaino 3, Kyle Farnsworth 6, Mike Myers 2|
|Luis Castillo, 2B||3||1||0||0||1||1||4||.281|
|Nick Punto, 3B||3||1||1||0||1||1||3||.167|
|Joe Mauer, C||3||1||1||1||0||0||1||.345|
|Michael Cuddyer, RF||4||1||2||2||0||0||0||.379|
|Justin Morneau, 1B||4||1||1||1||0||0||0||.250|
|Torii Hunter, CF||4||0||2||1||0||0||1||.250|
|Jason Kubel, LF||4||0||1||0||0||0||2||.267|
|Luis Rodriguez, DH||4||0||2||0||0||0||1||.400|
|Alexi Casilla, SS||3||0||1||0||0||0||1||.333|
|2B - Nick Punto (3, Henn), Justin Morneau (1, Farnsworth), Torii Hunter 2 (5, Mussina, Farnsworth)|
|SH - Joe Mauer (1)|
|RBI - Joe Mauer (1), Michael Cuddyer 2 (4), Justin Morneau (6), Torii Hunter (4)|
|SB - Luis Castillo (2, 2nd base off Farnsworth/Posada)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|Ramon Ortiz (W,2-0)||8||3||1||1||1||4||0||1.80|
|Pitches-Strikes - Ramon Ortiz 90-54, Joe Nathan 18-12|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ramon Ortiz 7-13|
|Batters Faced - Ramon Ortiz 28, Joe Nathan 5|
|Attendance - 30131|
|Game Time - 2:36|
|Temperature - 70|
|Umpires - Home - Charlie Reliford, First Base - Larry Vanover, Second Base - Greg Gibson, Third Base - Tony Randazzo|