Minnesota at New York

W: C. Sabathia (1-0) L: B. Duensing (0-1)
HR: MIN - None   NYY - D. Jeter (1), H. Matsui (1)

Jeter, Sabathia too much for Twins in Game 1 of ALDS

CBSSports.com wire reports

NEW YORK -- Derek Jeter got a big hit, just as he did in Octobers past at the famed ballpark across the street. CC Sabathia joined in the postseason fun. Even Alex Rodriguez broke out of his playoff rut.

A-Rod, CC shake off history to boost Yanks in Game 1
by Danny Knobler
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It was like old times in the first postseason game at the new Yankee Stadium, with New York beating these tired Minnesota Twins 7-2 Wednesday night in the opener of their AL playoff series.

"It felt just like the old place," Jeter said. "We couldn't have drawn it up any better for us."

After Jeter's third-inning homer off loser Brian Duensing drew New York even at 2, Nick Swisher pulled a go-ahead double down the left-field line in the fourth that scored Robinson Cano from first as left fielder Delmon Young and shortstop Orlando Cabrera made a pair of poor throws.

Rodriguez had gone 0 for 29 in the postseason with runners on base dating to Game 4 of the 2004 AL Championship Series before chasing Duensing with an RBI single that made it 4-2 in the fifth.

From there the Yankees breezed to their first postseason win in exactly two years.

On a night with sustained winds blowing to right-center at 20 mph, with gusts up to 43 mph, Hideki Matsui followed with a two-run homer into Monument Park on left-hander Francisco Lirano's fourth pitch. The Yankees celebrated like kids, just as the Twins did when they beat Detroit in an AL Central tiebreaker at the Metrodome on Tuesday night.

"Crazy. Nuts," Swisher said. "Everyone knows I'm a little hyper. Probably the hardest thing was keeping myself under control."

Rodriguez added another run-scoring single in the seventh against Jon Rauch following an error by first baseman Michael Cuddyer, with A-Rod's drive hitting halfway up the right-field wall. New York scored five runs with two outs.

"It definitely felt good," Rodriguez said. "There's no questions the numbers aren't good, but you've got to come out and play."

 Series: Yankees 1, Twins 0

Wearing long sleeves on the blustery night, Sabathia got past a 22-pitch first inning and found a sharp cutter in his Yankees postseason debut.

"This is what you come here for," Sabathia said. "It was electric tonight."

Despite retiring the side in order just twice, Sabathia allowed one earned run and eight hits in 6 2/3 innings, striking out eight and walking none.

"He got nasty. He was deceiving," Minnesota's Denard Span said.

Sabathia, who twice got crossed up with catcher Jorge Posada, left with two on after 113 pitches. He tipped his cap to a ballpark record crowd of 49,464 that included actress Kate Hudson and rapper Jay-Z.

Jeter's home run had inspired the big lefty.

"The place got loud," Sabathia said. "Him starting out the game with a single and then tying the score up right back, it just made me want to go out there and get three quick outs."

Minnesota didn't arrive at its hotel until nearly 4 a.m. and appeared to lack the energy that propelled the Twins during a 17-4 finish. The Twins struck out 12 times.

"Guys are tired," AL batting champ Joe Mauer said before adding, "this isn't the time of year for that, to be worrying about that."

After a day off, the series resumes Friday night, when A.J. Burnett pitches for the Yankees against Nick Blackburn. New York will be trying to get off to its first 2-0 postseason start since 1999 against Texas.

"We all need to go home, get a good night's rest," said Twins pitcher Carl Pavano, who will start Game 3. "We're going to be a little fresher, I'm sure, on Friday."

Minnesota took a 2-0 lead in the third when Cabrera singled with two outs, Mauer doubled, Cuddyer hit an RBI single and Posada crossed up with Sabathia and allowed a run-scoring passed ball.

Casey Stengel hit the first postseason home run across the street at original Yankee Stadium, an inside-the-parker that gave the New York Giants a 5-4 win in the 1923 World Series opener.

Jeter tied the score with a drive about 10 feet fair down the left-field line. With his 18th postseason home run, he tied Yankees stars Mickey Mantle and Reggie Jackson for third on the career list behind Manny Ramirez (28) and Bernie Williams (22), another former New York star

"You get a two-run lead quick, and as soon as you go back out, it's a 2-2 ballgame with a homer," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "That's a little deflating."

The captain was on base four times with two hits and two walks, and scored three runs.

"It's pretty fitting what he did tonight," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi, managing his first postseason game since replacing Joe Torre two years ago. "That's Derek Jeter at this time of the year."

A left-hander who pitched for the U.S. in the Olympics last year, Duensing had never even been to New York before and made just nine starts during his rookie season.

"I wish that we could go hire a right-hander to come in and eat them all up," Gardenhire said. "But we have a few left-handers that have to pitch. That's just the way it is."

Duensing gave up five runs and seven hits in 4 2/3 innings.

"The crowd was into it. An unbelievable atmosphere," Duensing said. "Just wished it would have turned out a little better."


  • Matsui has seven postseason homers. He hit 13 off left-handers during the regular season, tied for big league lead among left-handed batters.
  • Phil Hughes followed Sabathia and struck out Cabrera in a 10-pitch at-bat. Mariano Rivera, New York's fourth reliever, struck out two in the ninth.
Copyright 2017 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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Derek Jeter plays well in the Bronx, going 2 for 2 with a homer and three runs scored.  (Getty Images)
Derek Jeter plays well in the Bronx, going 2 for 2 with a homer and three runs scored. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
New York

D. Jeter
AB 2
R 3
H 2
HR 1
New York

C. Sabathia
IP 6.2
H 8
ER 1
BB 0
K 8

Related Video

Minnesota Twins
Denard Span, CF5020013 .400
Orlando Cabrera, SS5120025 .400
Joe Mauer, C4120012 .500
Michael Cuddyer, 1B4011012 .250
Jason Kubel, RF4000022 .000
Delmon Young, LF4000021 .000
Brendan Harris, DH4010020 .250
Matt Tolbert, 3B3000011 .000
Nick Punto, 2B3020100 .667
2B - Denard Span (1, Sabathia), Joe Mauer (1, Sabathia)
RBI - Michael Cuddyer (1)
2-OUT RBI - Michael Cuddyer (1)
SB - Orlando Cabrera (1, 2nd base off Sabathia/Posada)
Team LOB - 9
DP - Tolbert-Punto-Cuddyer
E - Michael Cuddyer (1, Misplayed grounder)
Minnesota Twins
Brian Duensing (L,0-1) 4.2755131 9.64
Francisco Liriano 2121111 4.50
Jon Rauch 0.1100100 0.00
Ron Mahay 1000010 0.00
WP - Brian Duensing (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Brian Duensing 79-59, Francisco Liriano 31-16, Jon Rauch 9-3, Ron Mahay 14-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brian Duensing 6-5, Francisco Liriano 3-2, Jon Rauch 1-0, Ron Mahay 1-1
Batters Faced - Brian Duensing 22, Francisco Liriano 8, Jon Rauch 3, Ron Mahay 3
New York Yankees
Derek Jeter, SS23222001.000
Johnny Damon, LF4010001 .250
Mark Teixeira, 1B4000003 .000
Alex Rodriguez, 3B4122012 .500
Hideki Matsui, DH3112100 .333
Jorge Posada, C4010012 .250
Robinson Cano, 2B4100011 .000
Nick Swisher, RF4011000 .250
    Brett Gardner, CF0000000 .000
Melky Cabrera, CF-RF4110021 .250
2B - Nick Swisher (1, Duensing)
HR - Derek Jeter (1, Duensing), Hideki Matsui (1, Liriano)
RBI - Derek Jeter 2 (2), Alex Rodriguez 2 (2), Hideki Matsui 2 (2), Nick Swisher (1)
2-OUT RBI - Alex Rodriguez 2 (2), Hideki Matsui 2 (2), Nick Swisher (1)
Team LOB - 5
DP - Rodriguez-Cano-Teixeira
PB - Jorge Posada 2 (2)
New York Yankees
CC Sabathia (W,1-0) 6.2821080 1.35
Phil Hughes (H,1) 0.2100020 0.00
Phil Coke 0.1000000 0.00
Joba Chamberlain 0.1000000 0.00
Mariano Rivera 1100120 0.00
HBP - Tolbert (by CC Sabathia)
WP - CC Sabathia (1)
Pitches-Strikes - CC Sabathia 113-71, Phil Hughes 24-16, Phil Coke 1-1, Joba Chamberlain 2-1, Mariano Rivera 23-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - CC Sabathia 4-7, Joba Chamberlain 1-0, Mariano Rivera 1-0
Batters Faced - CC Sabathia 28, Phil Hughes 3, Phil Coke 1, Joba Chamberlain 1, Mariano Rivera 5
Game Information
Attendance - 49464
Game Time - 3:38
Temperature - 62
Umpires - Home - Tim Tschida, First Base - Chuck Meriwether, Second Base - Mark Wegner, Third Base - Paul Emmel