The New York Yankees jumped out to a 9-1 lead and then turned back a Minnesota Twins’ comeback to complete a four game sweep on Thursday afternoon. The Yankees celebrated Independence Day with early fireworks.
The Yankees blasted Twins’ starter Kyle Gibson with eight runs and eleven hits over the first 5 1/3innings. Robinson Cano and Vernon Wells got things started in the first. Cano picked up an RBI with a sacrifice fly. Wells added a two-run single to put the Yankees up 3-0.
They never looked back. In the third inning, Wells and Luis Cruz tacked on two more runs with base hits to put the Yankees up 5-0.
David Phelps bounced back from a disastrous outing by striking out five batters before leaving in the seventh. For the most part, Phelps was in complete command. Except for a Justin Morneau home run in the fourth, the Twins were unable to break through until Phelps surpassed 100 pitches and gave in to fatigue.
Ichiro Suzuki came to the plate for his last at bat needing only a home run to hit for the cycle. Suzuki, normally a contact hitter, is often acclaimed for his ability to pop a homer when needed. This time, he went down on strikes to save the homer for a closer game.
As the Twins clawed back to make it 9-5, Shawn Kelley and David Robertson went to work. Kelley retired all three batters that he faced in the eighth inning, striking out two.
Robertson shut the door on the Twins in the ninth without giving up a hit, to give Mariano Rivera the day off and complete the sweep.
The best news is that Yankees bats have awakened. Suzuki, Wells, Travis Hafner, Zoilo Almonte and Cruz all had multiple hits. The Yankees look forward to the Baltimore Orioles coming to Yankee Stadium tomorrow to redeem themselves for their recent poor showing at Camden Yards.
With the win, Phelps pushes his record to 6-5. He gave up eight hits and struck out five. He did not walk a batter. Gibson took the loss for the Twins, dropping his record to 1-1.