|N.Y. Yankees (4-2) «||0||0||1||3||0||0||0||0||x||4||5||1|
NEW YORK -- Rafael Soriano was right back out there doing the job he was hired for, two days after blowing a big lead in his eighth-inning slot.
Just like the New York Yankees drew it up when they signed him to a $35 million, three-year contract in the offseason, Soriano got the ball to Mariano Rivera with a scoreless eighth Thursday. He protected a one-run lead in a 4-3 win over Minnesota, their first game since the Twins rallied from a 4-0 deficit to win in extra innings Tuesday.
"A lot of people -- the manager, the pitching coach, the GM -- everybody comes to me and say, 'Bad day, you know, it happen to everybody here. Come back tomorrow ready for the game,'" Soriano said.
|More on Twins at Yankees|
Minnesota lost more than the game: Its heralded Japanese import, Tsuyoshi Nishioka, broke his lower left leg after Nick Swisher slid into him at second base while breaking up a double play in the seventh. The Twins said they believed the play was clean, and Swisher sought Nishioka out in the X-ray room after the game to apologize.
"He definitely eased my mind," Swisher said. "He told me, 'Hey, it's not your fault. Don't feel bad.' I know I play hard, but you never want to go in there trying to hurt anybody."
There was no immediate word on how long Nishioka would be out because of his broken fibula.
Derek Jeter passed Rogers Hornsby for 33rd place on baseball's all-time list with two hits, and A.J. Burnett (2-0) improved to 7-0 in 12 April starts for the Yankees, allowing two runs on five hits in six innings.
No. 9 hitter Brett Gardner helped the Yankees manufacture their first run in the third, then drove in their final run in the fourth.
New York won two out of three in the rain-shortened series. The Yankees now head to Boston to face the rival -- and winless -- Red Sox.
After Wednesday's rainout, manager Joe Girardi immediately gave Soriano another chance. Soriano allowed a leadoff single to Joe Mauer, then retired the Twins' 4-5-6 hitters. Rivera pitched a perfect ninth for his fourth save.
Soriano said his shoulder felt looser than it did Tuesday, when he walked three batters.
"His command was what we were accustomed to seeing, and that was the difference," Girardi said.
Gardner led off the bottom of the third with a walk. He stole second on a 3-0 count, then moved to third on a groundout by Jeter. Swisher drove him in with a sacrifice fly to deep right-center, and New York had a 1-0 lead without a hit in the inning.
The Twins scored twice in the top of the fourth to take a 2-1 lead, but Francisco Liriano (0-2) walked Alex Rodriguez to open the bottom of the inning. After Robinson Cano singled, Andruw Jones drove in the tying run with a one-out double. The Yankees went back on top when Russell Martin's grounder to first scored Cano. Gardner's bloop single to right with two outs put New York up 4-2.
Liriano allowed four runs on four hits and three walks in five innings, striking out five.
Twins shortstop Alexi Casilla said Nishioka would have to learn how his new counterparts in America try to break up double plays - and to stay behind the bag while turning two.
"In Japan, they play clean," Casilla said. "They don't want to hurt anybody."
The Twins manufactured a run of their own in the seventh off Joba Chamberlain to pull within 4-3. But Soriano and Rivera wouldn't let them come all the way back.
|Derek Jeter collects two hits to pass Rogers Hornsby for 33rd place on baseball's all-time list. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
|Denard Span, CF||4||0||1||1||0||0||0||.304|
|Tsuyoshi Nishioka, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.208|
|Matt Tolbert, 2B||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.200|
|Joe Mauer, C||4||0||2||0||0||2||1||.222|
|Justin Morneau, 1B||3||1||1||0||1||0||2||.211|
|Jim Thome, DH||3||1||1||1||1||0||1||.200|
|Michael Cuddyer, RF||4||0||0||0||0||0||4||.105|
|Jason Kubel, LF||4||0||1||1||0||2||2||.333|
|Danny Valencia, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||0||3||.100|
|Alexi Casilla, SS||2||1||0||0||0||0||1||.167|
|a- Delmon Young, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.136|
|a-grounded out for Casilla in the 9th|
|2B - Denard Span (1, Burnett), Justin Morneau (2, Burnett), Jim Thome (2, Burnett), Jason Kubel (1, Burnett)|
|RBI - Denard Span (3), Jim Thome (3), Jason Kubel (1)|
|SB - Alexi Casilla (1, 3rd base off Chamberlain/Martin)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|E - Danny Valencia (2, Throwing)|
|Francisco Liriano (L,0-2)||5||4||4||4||3||5||0||7.71|
|HBP - Teixeira (by Francisco Liriano)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Francisco Liriano 97-53, Jeff Manship 19-12, Jose Mijares 10-5, Dusty Hughes 15-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Francisco Liriano 6-5, Jose Mijares 2-1, Dusty Hughes 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Francisco Liriano 24, Jeff Manship 4, Jose Mijares 3, Dusty Hughes 3|
|New York Yankees|
|Derek Jeter, SS||3||0||2||0||1||0||1||.238|
|Nick Swisher, RF||3||0||0||1||0||0||4||.286|
|Mark Teixeira, 1B||3||0||0||0||0||1||1||.286|
|Alex Rodriguez, 3B||3||1||0||0||1||1||3||.286|
|Robinson Cano, 2B||4||1||1||0||0||0||2||.240|
|Jorge Posada, DH||4||0||0||0||0||3||3||.182|
|Andruw Jones, LF||2||1||1||1||0||0||0||.400|
|a- Curtis Granderson, PH-CF||2||0||0||0||0||1||0||.158|
|Russell Martin, C||3||0||0||1||0||2||0||.300|
|Brett Gardner, CF-LF||2||1||1||1||1||0||0||.167|
|a-flied out for A. Jones in the 6th|
|2B - Derek Jeter (1, Liriano), Andruw Jones (1, Liriano)|
|SF - Nick Swisher (2)|
|RBI - Nick Swisher (4), Andruw Jones (2), Russell Martin (4), Brett Gardner (1)|
|2-OUT RBI - Brett Gardner (1)|
|SB - Brett Gardner (2, 2nd base off Liriano/Mauer)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|E - Russell Martin (1, Throwing)|
|New York Yankees|
|A.J. Burnett (W,2-0)||6||5||2||2||2||5||0||4.09|
|Joba Chamberlain (H,2)||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||2.25|
|Rafael Soriano (H,3)||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||9.82|
|Mariano Rivera (S,4)||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0.00|
|HBP - Casilla (by Joba Chamberlain)|
|WP - A.J. Burnett (2)|
|Pitches-Strikes - A.J. Burnett 99-61, Joba Chamberlain 19-11, Rafael Soriano 10-8, Mariano Rivera 7-4|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - A.J. Burnett 3-10, Joba Chamberlain 1-2, Mariano Rivera 1-2|
|Batters Faced - A.J. Burnett 25, Joba Chamberlain 4, Rafael Soriano 4, Mariano Rivera 3|
|Attendance - 41512|
|Game Time - 3:04|
|Temperature - 45|
|Umpires - Home - Larry Vanover, First Base - Tony Randazzo, Second Base - Dan Bellino, Third Base - Brian Gorman|