Yankees vs. Twins score: New York slams Minnesota in ALDS Game 2, puts AL Central champs on verge of elimination

On Saturday, the New York Yankees beat the Minnesota Twins in Game 2 of their American League Divisional Series by an 8-2 final. For the second night in a row, the Yankees blew the game wide open. This time, it was thanks to a Didi Gregorius third-inning grand slam to put the Yankees up 7-0. 

Manager Aaron Boone expressed confidence for his club's shortstop ahead of the game. Meanwhile, a solid start from Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka quieted Minnesota's offense.

Defeating the Yankees in the playoffs has proven to be an impossible task for the Twins. With the win, the Yankees extended their playoff winning streak to 12 straight games against the Twins. Minnesota has now lost 15 straight playoff games -- the longest postseason losing streak in MLB history. Minnesota hasn't won a playoff game since Johan Santana bested the Yankees in their 2004 Division Series opener. The two teams will travel to Target Field for Game 3 on Monday with the Twins in a win-or-go-home predicament.

For more on this game, here are our big takeaways.

Why the Yankees won

The Yankees powerful offense was on full display in Saturday's Game 2. The Yankees' lineup is extremely dangerous, plain and simple. They took full advantage of the Twins inexperienced starter, Randy Dobnak. The Yankees put up three quick runs and then the grand slam from Gregorius put this game away.

Through two games in this series, the Yankees have outscored the Twins, 18-6, and are hitting .297/.446/.556.

Thw Yankees pitching was also a big reason why New York is heading for Minnesota with a 2-0 series lead. Tanaka tossed five innings, allowing one run on three hits with seven strikeouts. Tanaka has proven that he does his best pitching on the big stage, and postseason Tanaka shined on Saturday night.

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Masahiro Tanaka NYY • SP • 19
IP5.0
P83
H3
ER1
BB1
K7

The right-hander joins Hall of Famers Sandy Koufax as just the second pitcher in MLB history to allow no more than two runs in each of his first six postseason starts. As you may recall, Tanaka's most recent playoff start was Game 2 of the 2018 ALDS against the eventual World Series champion Red Sox. Tanaka's start was the Yankees only win in that series. 

Why the Twins lost

Manager Rocco Baldelli named rookie right-hander Randy Dobnak the starter for Game 2 instead of Jake Odorizzi in order to give Odorizzi extra rest to recover from hamstring tightness. But Dobnak exited early, and the Twins were forced to turn to their bullpen much earlier than they hoped. Dobnak finished his night after just two-plus innings (43 pitches) in which he allowed six hits and four earned runs while striking out none and walking two. 

When the Twins brought out reliever Tyler Duffey, that's when things fell apart. Duffey, who was coming off an impressive second-half, served up a sacrifice fly to Giancarlo Stanton that gave the Yankees a 2-0 lead. That was followed by a Gleyber Torres RBI single to make it 3-0 and a hit-by-pitch on Gary Sanchez to reload the bases set up the slam for Gregorius. It was just the second postseason game of Duffey's career, and as we mentioned after the Yankees Game 1 win, a young bullpen is always going to be more susceptible to giving up runs when pitching in high-pressure games. 

Quotable

Yankees releiver Tommy Kahnle after Game 2: "We've got the advantage, but we're not going to look too far ahead. We're going to look at the next game. Our mindset right now is going into the next game and winning that game and ending the series."

Play of the game

A postseason grand slam is almost always going to win play of the game honors. It was a huge confidence boost for Gregorius, who was fighting through a slump before the homer. And it was a crushing blow for Minnesota. Here's film of the game's big homer:

What's next

The ALDS between Minnesota and New York will travel to Target Field for Game 3 on Monday. The expected starters are Luis Severino (1-1, 1.50 ERA) and Jake Odorizzi (15-7, 3.51 ERA). The Twins will be in a win-or-go-home situation.

Live updates

CBS Sports was with you the entire way with up-to-the minute updates of Game 2 of the American League Division Series between the Yankees and Twins.

Thank you for joining us tonight! 

Katherine Acquavella joined CBS Sports in 2018. Her work has appeared in Yankees Magazine and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum's Memories and Dreams magazine. She is a graduate of St. John's... Full Bio

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