Yankees Top Twins 6-4 As Ivan Nova Struggles
Yankees Recap. The New York Yankees defeated the Minnesota Twins 6-4 on Sunday but Ivan Nova struggled in his bid to earn a starting spot in the rotation.
Nova brought his 2.00 spring earned run average into the game looking to stretch himself out. After a scoreless first inning it appeared that he was on his way. But Minnesota loaded the bases in the bottom of the second. Trevor Plouffe and Eddie Rosario singled, followed by a walk to Byung Ho Park. Nova then induced three straight ground outs, the third by John Ryan Murphy. But the damage had been done as the Twins picked up two runs. [related category]
The Yankees bounced right back in the top of the third against Twins’ starter Ervin Santana. Pete Kozma drew a walk. Ronald Torreyes singled. Ben Gamel then reached on an error by right fielder Miguel Sano. Brett Gardner walked to get the Yankees on the board. Aaron Hicks lofted a sacrifice fly to tie the score at 2-2. Brian McCann grounded out to first baseman Joe Mauer to bring Gamel home to put the Yankees up 3-2.
Minnesota threatened to tie it up in the bottom of the fourth inning. Rosario singled and stole second base. But when Eduardo Escobar flied out to Hicks in center field, Hicks gave a glimpse of the versatility that the Yankees saw when they picked him up. Hicks left Rosario eating the dust as he rifled a throw to third base and Chase Headley applied the tag to complete the double play.
Santana came out for the Twins in the fifth looking to make his way through the Yankees lineup for the second time. But Santana let his nerves get to him with Gamel on at third base and Hicks at the plate. Santana was called for a balk and Gamel grinned as he trotted home with the Yankees fourth run.
The Twins had Nova dancing on hot coals again in the bottom of the inning. Murphy walked and hustled to third base on a double by Byron Buxton. But this time Nova wasn’t able to wriggle out of the jam. Maurer singled to bring home Murphy and Buxton to make the score 4-4.
That resulted in the Yankees bringing in Bryan Mitchell to replace Nova. This was exactly the situation that the Yankees hope they can count on Mitchell for as they look to replace Adam Warren. And Mitchell came through by getting a pair of fly outs to end the inning.
In the eighth, Minnesota called J R Graham in from the pen to get the hold. But Cesar Puello greeted Graham with a home run to center field to put the Yankees up 5-4. Deibinson Romero worked a walk and moved to second on a ground out. Eddy Rodriguez pinch hit for Denorfia. Rodriguez drilled a right field double to increase the Yankees lead to 6-4, and the bombers never looked back.
Nova allowed four runs on five hits before leaving with one out in the fifth.