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Minnesota at New York

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Minnesota (23-14) «010000050690
N.Y. Yankees (24-13)0200100003110

Kubel's grand slam off Rivera rocks Yankees, Twins salvage finale

CBSSports.com wire reports
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NEW YORK -- This was the absolute last way the Minnesota Twins expected to break through against the New York Yankees.

Jason Kubel hit a stunning grand slam off Mariano Rivera with two outs in the eighth inning Sunday, and the Twins snapped a nine-game losing streak against the Yankees with a 6-3 victory.

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Minnesota Twins

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"It's a pretty good feeling," Kubel said. "It's an even better feeling that we finally beat them."

Rivera replaced Joba Chamberlain (1-2) with the bases loaded and a 3-1 lead and walked Jim Thome. Kubel then pulled a 1-0 pitch into the seats in right, startling the crowd of 46,628 at Yankee Stadium.

"You probably should have recorded that. Take pictures. It's probably not something you will see often," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said of Rivera's off day. "He's the best in the game."

Kubel's third homer of the season and sixth career slam snapped a string of 51 straight converted save opportunities for Rivera at home, tying the major league record set by Eric Gagne with the Dodgers. It was the first grand slam off Rivera since Bill Selby's game-ending shot for Cleveland on July 14, 2002.

"You assume he's going to close every single game," Yankees slugger Mark Teixeira said. "If you ask people in New York, they probably think his save percentage is a thousand, because that's how good he is."

Rivera hadn't allowed a run in 11 innings this year. The ace closer issued his fourth career bases-loaded walk and first since Oakland's Keith Ginter on May 6, 2005, before allowing his fourth grand slam, according to STATS LLC.

"Home run, anything can happen. But walking a run in is unacceptable," Rivera said. "You can not go in there and do that."

The Yankees tried to rally in the ninth, starting the inning with a pair of singles off Jon Rauch. But the closer struck out Derek Jeter, Brett Gardner and Teixeira to hold on for his 10th save in 11 chances.

Nick Blackburn (4-1) allowed three runs and nine hits in seven innings for Minnesota, which picked up its first win against New York since Aug. 13, 2008. The Twins had lost 12 straight overall against New York, counting the sweep in last year's AL division series.

"This is as good as it has been," said Blackburn, who has won three consecutive starts. "There was no point where I had to make adjustments. The last couple of games I was making adjustments during the game."

Brian Duensing and Matt Guerrier combined to work a hitless eighth before Rauch closed it.

Randy Winn had a two-run triple and Teixeira collected two more hits for the Yankees, who had won six straight at home. Teixeira is batting .339 (21 for 62) with 20 RBI in 15 May games after hitting .136 in April.

The Yankees wasted an effective start by Sergio Mitre while falling to 12-3 at home heading into a pair of difficult two-game sets against Boston and AL East-leading Tampa Bay. Phil Hughes is scheduled to face Red Sox right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka on Monday night.

"I just look at one [series]. I'm not going to look ahead," manager Joe Girardi said. "Obviously, you want to continue to try to win series."

Gardenhire lamented all of Minnesota's missed opportunities against the Yankees before the game, and he got a couple more to add to his list in this one. But he also got just enough for Minnesota's first victory in New York since July 4, 2007.

"As far as I'm concerned, we're 1-0 against the Yankees in our last one game played," he said. "We'll construe the numbers any way we want now."

Mitre allowed one run -- Justin Morneau's ninth homer -- and four hits in five-plus innings. He could start Friday night's Subway Series opener against the Mets if Girardi decides to use Javier Vazquez in long relief over the next couple days.

"Felt pretty good. Everything was pretty much working," Mitre said. "Throwing a lot of strikes, trying to stay ahead of the hitters and just pound the strike zone throughout the whole game."

Notes

  • Yankees CF Curtis Granderson took batting practice and fielded about 15 balls in the outfield for the first time since he strained his left groin May 1. He also ran again and did some stretching. "Everything felt good," he said.
  • Twins 3B Nick Punto was out of the starting lineup because Gardenhire wanted to give Matt Tolbert playing time. Tolbert went 1 for 3 in his first game since he was recalled from Triple-A Rochester last Tuesday.
  • Girardi said RHP Chan Ho Park (right hamstring) likely will come off the DL on Monday.
  • The Twins open a two-game series at Toronto on Monday. RHP Kevin Slowey is scheduled to face Blue Jays LHP Dana Eveland.
 
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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Mariano Rivera can't believe he just gave up the grand slam, his first since 2002.  (US Presswire)
Mariano Rivera can't believe he just gave up the grand slam, his first since 2002. (US Presswire)

Players of the Game
Minnesota

J. Kubel
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 4
New York

R. Winn
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
 
Minnesota Twins
Denard Span, CF5010003 .267
Orlando Hudson, 2B5120011 .285
Joe Mauer, C3100201 .349
Justin Morneau, 1B4111024 .362
Michael Cuddyer, RF4110012 .264
Jim Thome, DH3011100 .253
    Drew Butera, PR-DH0100000 .143
Jason Kubel, LF4114021 .225
    Delmon Young, LF0000000 .270
Alexi Casilla, SS2000211 .258
Matt Tolbert, 3B3010001 .333
    Nick Punto, 3B1010000 .262
Totals3469657  
Batting
HR - Justin Morneau (9, Mitre), Jason Kubel (3, M. Rivera)
RBI - Justin Morneau (25), Jim Thome (16), Jason Kubel 4 (15)
2-OUT RBI - Jim Thome (7), Jason Kubel 4 (7)
SB - Denard Span (9, 2nd base off Nova/Posada)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Morneau-Casilla
Minnesota Twins
Nick Blackburn (W,4-1) 7933140 4.63
Brian Duensing (H,7) 0.2000100 1.84
Matt Guerrier (H,7) 0.1000010 2.12
Jon Rauch (S,10) 1200030 1.80
Pitches-Strikes - Nick Blackburn 104-71, Brian Duensing 11-6, Matt Guerrier 4-3, Jon Rauch 22-17
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Nick Blackburn 6-10, Brian Duensing 2-0
Batters Faced - Nick Blackburn 30, Brian Duensing 3, Matt Guerrier 1, Jon Rauch 5
New York Yankees
Derek Jeter, DH-SS5010012 .269
Brett Gardner, CF5010034 .317
Mark Teixeira, 1B5021013 .224
Alex Rodriguez, 3B4000011 .279
Robinson Cano, 2B4000002 .326
Jorge Posada, C3120110 .326
Marcus Thames, RF2110101 .354
    Greg Golson, RF0000000 .400
   a- Nick Swisher, PH0000000 .293
   b- Juan Miranda, PH1000011 .125
Randy Winn, LF4022002 .209
Ramiro Pena, SS-RF4120001 .182
Totals37311328  
a-announced for Golson in the 8th
b-struck out for Swisher in the 8th
Batting
3B - Randy Winn (1, Blackburn)
RBI - Mark Teixeira (29), Randy Winn 2 (6)
2-OUT RBI - Randy Winn 2 (5)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Pena-Cano, Cano-Teixeira
New York Yankees
Sergio Mitre 5411131 3.32
David Robertson (H,4) 2000220 8.49
Joba Chamberlain (H,8; L,1-2) 0.2233110 3.63
Mariano Rivera (BS,1) 0.1122111 1.59
Ivan Nova 1200000 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Sergio Mitre 79-44, David Robertson 30-14, Joba Chamberlain 23-14, Mariano Rivera 14-7, Ivan Nova 22-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Sergio Mitre 5-7, David Robertson 1-2, Joba Chamberlain 1-0, Ivan Nova 2-0
Batters Faced - Sergio Mitre 20, David Robertson 7, Joba Chamberlain 5, Mariano Rivera 3, Ivan Nova 4
Game Information
Attendance - 46628
Game Time - 3:21
Temperature - 67
Umpires - Home - Tim Tschida, First Base - Bob Davidson, Second Base - Alfonso Marquez, Third Base - Tim Timmons