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Minnesota at New York

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Minnesota (18-19)01010002000480
N.Y. Yankees (19-17) «00300001002670

A-Rod comes through in 11th with game-winning home run

CBSSports.com wire reports
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NEW YORK -- Alex Rodriguez's first hit at the new Yankee Stadium was a doozy.

Rodriguez belted a game-ending, two-run homer in the 11th inning to give the New York Yankees a 6-4 win over the Minnesota Twins on Saturday.

Rodriguez hit a long drive off Craig Breslow (1-2) into the seats in left after Mark Teixeira led off with a walk. The jubilant slugger threw his arms up as he rounded first, then discarded his batting helmet as he made it to the plate and was mobbed by teammates.

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"I was so tired," Rodriguez said with specks of a postgame shaving cream pie still on his right ear. "I haven't played a lot of baseball this year so I was exhausted. I was really just trying to put a good swing on the ball."

It was just the second game at the Yankees' $1.5 billion palace for A-Rod, who missed the first part of the season with a hip injury after admitting in spring training to using steroids when he played with the Texas Rangers.

Off to a slow start, the homer raised his batting average to .154 this season.

"For me, I gave you guys something to talk about and write about in the 11th inning and I didn't have to open my mouth," Rodriguez said as he addressed the media scrum after the game, "and that's kind of the way I want things, you know. Stay out of my own way."

Teixeira tied a career high with four hits and also had four RBI for New York, which has won four straight. Alfredo Aceves (1-0) pitched a scoreless inning to earn the victory.

Justin Morneau hit his third homer in two games and Joe Mauer also connected for the second straight day for Minnesota, which absorbed its second consecutive difficult loss. The Yankees scored three times off All-Star closer Joe Nathan in the ninth inning of a 5-4 victory Friday night.

"This is a tough place to play," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "You can't make mistakes here."

Minnesota pushed across two runs in the eighth to take a 4-3 lead. Morneau started the rally with a one-out drive off Phil Coke into the second deck in right. Brian Buscher added a run-scoring double for his second RBI.

Morneau went deep twice in the series opener and has four homers in his past four games to give him 12 for the season.

New York responded in the bottom half. Teixeira, showing signs of breaking out of his usual slow start, hit a tying RBI single off Nick Blackburn.

"Obviously I wanted to be more careful than that," Blackburn said. "I was trying to hit the corner and I threw one that got over the plate. Every at-bat, I just gave him something too good."

Teixeira's three-run drive after Blackburn issued a pair of two-out walks in the third gave the Yankees a 3-2 lead. The switch hitter is 6-for-6 against the right-hander in his career.

"I was just getting good pitches to hit," Teixeira said. "I got four good pitches to hit and I didn't miss them."

Mariano Rivera pitched two scoreless innings to help set up A-Rod's second homer of the season. Minnesota put the first two batters on in the 10th but Rivera retired the next three to keep it tied.

It was Rivera's longest outing since he pitched two innings against Kansas City on Aug. 16.

The four homers -- all no doubters -- brought the season total to 56 in the first 15 games at the Yankees' swanky ballpark, quickly developing a reputation as a launching pad. The major league record for most homers in the first 15 games at a new park is 59 at Puerto Rico's Hiram Bithorn Stadium from 2001-03, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Puzzled by Joba Chamberlain's lack of velocity in the first inning, the Yankees tried a new routine before his start against the Twins. The right-hander set aside part of his pregame bullpen session for a simulated inning against three batters.

The move seemed to work.

Chamberlain was around 93 mph as he breezed through the first. He allowed two runs and three hits in six innings, and is 2-1 with a 3.65 ERA in his past four starts.

"Coming out of the bullpen it felt a lot better," he said.

Opponents were batting .481 in the first inning against Chamberlain before the game against the Twins. Each of the seven runs he gave up in his previous two starts came in the first.

"We got a good start from Joba," manager Joe Girardi said. "It all starts with pitching."

Notes

  • It was Rodriguez's eighth career game-ending homer, his fifth with the Yankees and first since April 19, 2007, against Cleveland's Joe Borowski.
  • Eric Hacker, recently designated for assignment by the Yankees, was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Romulo Sanchez in a swap of minor league right-handers.
 
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 (11th-inning HR) is the hero in his second game at the new Yankee Stadium.  (US Presswire)
Alex Rodriguez (11th-inning HR) is the hero in his second game at the new Yankee Stadium. (US Presswire)

Players of the Game
New York

M. Teixeira
AB 4
R 2
H 4
HR 1
RBI 4
Minnesota

J. Morneau
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
 
Minnesota Twins
Denard Span, CF5000123 .292
Brendan Harris, 2B6000024 .289
Joe Mauer, DH4111110 .423
Justin Morneau, 1B3221201 .324
Jason Kubel, LF5020022 .341
Michael Cuddyer, RF4100115 .260
Brian Buscher, 3B3012103 .220
Mike Redmond, C3010010 .255
    Carlos Gomez, PR0000000 .207
    Jose Morales, C1000102 .333
Nick Punto, SS4010002 .200
Totals3848479  
Batting
2B - Brian Buscher (2, Coke)
HR - Joe Mauer (6, Chamberlain), Justin Morneau (12, Coke)
SF - Brian Buscher (1)
SH - Nick Punto (3)
RBI - Joe Mauer (16), Justin Morneau (32), Brian Buscher 2 (7)
2-OUT RBI - Brian Buscher (2)
SB - Denard Span (9, 2nd base off Chamberlain/Cervelli)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Morneau-Punto-Blackburn
Minnesota Twins
Nick Blackburn 7.2644341 4.38
Matt Guerrier 2000110 3.92
Craig Breslow (L,1-2) 0.1122101 7.11
WP - Matt Guerrier (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Nick Blackburn 111-66, Matt Guerrier 28-19, Craig Breslow 9-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Nick Blackburn 11-6, Matt Guerrier 2-3
Batters Faced - Nick Blackburn 30, Matt Guerrier 7, Craig Breslow 3
New York Yankees
Derek Jeter, SS2100200 .266
Johnny Damon, LF4110102 .312
Mark Teixeira, DH4244100 .238
Alex Rodriguez, 3B4112123 .154
Nick Swisher, 1B4000013 .239
Robinson Cano, 2B4000000 .300
Melky Cabrera, RF4000000 .316
Brett Gardner, CF4000000 .244
Francisco Cervelli, C2000010 .286
   a- Hideki Matsui, PH1010000 .262
    Ramiro Pena, PR0100000 .280
    Kevin Cash, C1000010 .125
Totals3467655  
a-doubled for Cervelli in the 8th
Batting
2B - Mark Teixeira (7, Blackburn), Hideki Matsui (7, Blackburn)
HR - Mark Teixeira (8, Blackburn), Alex Rodriguez (2, Breslow)
SH - Derek Jeter (1)
RBI - Mark Teixeira 4 (24), Alex Rodriguez 2 (6)
2-OUT RBI - Mark Teixeira 4 (16)
CS - Derek Jeter (1, 2nd base by Blackburn/Redmond)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Brett Gardner 1
DP - Gardner-Cervelli-Jeter
New York Yankees
Joba Chamberlain 6322461 3.76
Jose Veras (H,1) 0.1100100 6.75
Phil Coke (BS,2) 1.1222111 4.60
Edwar Ramirez 0.1000100 4.86
Mariano Rivera 2200020 2.93
Alfredo Aceves (W,1-0) 1000000 2.45
Pitches-Strikes - Joba Chamberlain 108-66, Jose Veras 11-5, Phil Coke 30-17, Edwar Ramirez 10-3, Mariano Rivera 29-21, Alfredo Aceves 10-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joba Chamberlain 4-7, Jose Veras 1-0, Phil Coke 1-2, Mariano Rivera 2-2, Alfredo Aceves 2-1
Batters Faced - Joba Chamberlain 24, Jose Veras 3, Phil Coke 7, Edwar Ramirez 2, Mariano Rivera 8, Alfredo Aceves 3
Game Information
Attendance - 45455
Game Time - 3:35
Temperature - 65
Umpires - Home - Marty Foster, First Base - Chad Fairchild, Second Base - John Hirschbeck, Third Base - Wally Bell