Derek Jeter SS
Johnny Damon LF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez DH
Nick Swisher RF
Robinson Cano 2B
Melky Cabrera CF
Ramiro Pena 3B
Francisco Cervelli C
Pitching: LHP Andy Pettitte (3-1, 4.00 ERA)
Denard Span LF
Brendan Harris 2B
Joe Mauer C
Justin Morneau 1B
Joe Crede 3B
Jason Kubel DH
Michael Cuddyer RF
Carlos Gomez CF
Nick Punto SS
Pitching: LHP Glen Perkins (1-2, 4.27)
TIME/TV: 7:05 p.m., YES/ESPN
ROLLING: After losing four games in a row from May 4-7, the Yankees have won seven of their last nine games including the past five straight. It helps that the Twins are the anti-Angels (of Anaheim) when it comes to playing the Yankees: The Yanks have beaten Minny 22 out of 25 times in the Bronx since the start of the 2002 season and their last three wins have all been of the walkoff variety.
A LA MODE: Along with a silly fastball and plentiful body ink, A.J. Burnett has brought a good clubhouse tradition with him to the Yankees: pies. Game-winning hits are now rewarded with whipped-cream pies-in-the-face and even the unflappable Mariano Rivera has embraced the concept. He encouraged Burnett to get his pie ready before Johnny Damon’s dramatic homer on Sunday. “Don’t mess with karma,” Rivera said.
CLEAN AND COMFORTING: Yankees relievers have allowed three runs in 11 1/3 innings during the past three wins and struck out 11 hitters. Yankees fielders haven’t made an error in 35 innings, dating back to Wednesday’s game in Toronto.
BELLY TO BELLY?: Andy Pettitte pitched well up in Toronto but the last time he recorded back-to-back victories was July 20 and 26, 2008.
UPDATE, 4:50 p.m.: Sorry for the delayed lineup but it didn’t come out until just before Girardi addressed the media. Here are a few news items:
1. Brian Bruney will be activated from the DL tomorrow assuming he continues to be pain-free. Of the potential pitchers to come off the roster, Jonathan Albaladejo, Edwar Ramirez and Alfredo Aceves have options left. Girardi said “that’s my plan” when asked if Bruney would immediately return to his 8th inning role.
Bruney said he was looking forward to getting back and pointed to the 8 1/2 minute review of Jorge Posada’s seventh-inning home run on April 19 as a cause of his injury. Bruney was throwing in the bullpen when Posada hit the homer and continued to throw throughout the lengthy delay, not knowing how long it would take for the video review to be completed. By the time he came into the game (he pitched a scoreless inning), he’d already thrown more pitches than he expected.
Bruney said he spoke to the players’ union about the incident to find out why the review took so long and learned that it isn’t the umpires on site who are doing the reviewing; it’s a central office in New York that handles all reviews. “I don’t know if somebody was on a lunch break or what,” he said, but 8 1/2 minutes “is a long time for anybody to be throwing.”
2. Chien-Ming Wang will be in the Bronx tomorrow to throw a side session in front of the Yankees staff. Girardi said the team would like to see Wang’s sinker be a little sharper than it was in his last minor-league start and was non-commital about when he could return to the rotation. Wang’s velocity in Scranton was a bit slower than it’s been (88-92 mph), but Girardi said he was less concerned with that and more concerned with the quality of the sinker.
3. Brett Gardner is “day-to-day” with a contusion of his right rotator cuff, Girardi said. Gardner didn’t feel any pain after his collision with Joe Mauer at home plate Sunday but woke up hurting today. He had an MRI which showed the contusion.
4. Steven Jackson was claimed by the Pirates, joining his good buddy Ross Ohlendorf on the team.
UPDATE, 6:07 p.m.: Just talked to Brett Gardner, who said he didn’t feel any pain when he got home yesterday but woke up in the middle of the night hurting. After looking at the MRI results, the doctor was encouraged, Gardner said, and he thinks it will only be an issue for a day or two. With Joe Mauer diving at him from one side and the bat laying on the ground on the other, “it could have been a lot worse,” Gardner said.
UPDATE, 7:12 p.m.: Chilly night here at the Stadium (54 degrees) and it’ll get even colder. The crowd booed a little when Teixeira tried to cut off Cabrera’s throw to the plate, but Melky’s throw was way off-line (and late) anyway. Then Morneau lined a clean single up the middle to make it 2-0. Morneau is a hitter – some of the Yankees were saying they heard Morneau hit a ball into the third deck at the Stadium during batting practice earlier this series.
UPDATE, 7:26 p.m.: Ladies and gentleman, Glen Perkins. Single, single, balk, three-run homer for Mark Teixeira. Yanks up 3-2.
UPDATE, 7:28 p.m.: Solo shot for A-Rod. Now the Twins pitching coach is at the mound for a talk. What is he saying? Try to get an out? Please? That was the fifth time this the Yankees have hit back-to-back homers.
UPDATE, 7:35 p.m.: Cano doubles, Melky singles and it’s 5-2 with R.A. Dickey warming in the Twins pen. If he comes in, that’ll be interesting; I believe he throws a hard knuckleball.
UPDATE, 7:39 p.m.: And that’ll be all for the illustrious Glen Perkins. Given a two-run lead before he went to the mound, he leaves trailing 6-2 with a man on first and two outs. Dickey coming on now to face Jeter, who led off the inning about an hour ago.
UPDATE, 7:45 p.m.: That was 11 batters, eight hits and six runs (all earned) if you’re scoring at home. That was the most runs scored in a first inning since Aug. 17, 2008 against Kansas City.
UPDATE, 8:19 p.m.: That could have been a missed hit-and-run sign by Melky – pretty rare to see Cano running on a straight steal.
UPDATE, 8:54 p.m.: It’d be good for the Yankees to add some runs if they can. Pettitte is doing a good job getting in and out of trouble, but Bruney isn’t back until tomorrow so the bullpen behind him is still shaky. Meanwhile, Dickey is doing a great job – three scoreless innings and counting.
UPDATE, 9:18 p.m.: That’s a rough inning for Jeter — he should have kept going back on Span’s pop-up instead of stopping and trying to jump (the ball hung up longer than he expected) and then in the bottom of the inning he goes down looking with two RISP. Nice job by Luis Ayala to escape unscathed after a rocky start to the inning. Now we see if Pettitte can get through the heart of the order one more time.
UPDATE, 9:27 p.m.: With two righties (Jose Veras and Edwar Ramirez) warming in the pen, Girardi couldn’t just hold up his arm to signal for the reliever. So, to indicate he wanted Veras, he held up his right arm and then raised it higher – as if showing he meant the taller one. Big spot for Veras here.
UPDATE, 9:35 p.m.: How about that. Gotta be honest, I wasn’t expecting a fly to center as the result there. Mazel tov, Jose Veras.
UPDATE, 9:37 p.m.: Second-deck shot for Teixeira, his second of the night. It’s the second time he’s hit two homers in a game this season (the other was May 4 vs. Boston) and 23rd multi-homer game of his career. It’s also the seventh time he’s hit homers from both sides of the plate in the same game (the May 4 game was also one of the seven).