Derek Jeter SS
Brett Gardner CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Juan Miranda DH
Francisco Cervelli C
Kevin Russo LF
RHP Javier Vazquez (3-4, 6.69 ERA)
Career vs. Twins
Denard Span CF
Orlando Hudson 2B
Joe Mauer C
Justin Morneau 1B
Jim Thome DH
Michael Cuddyer RF
Jason Kubel LF
J.J. Hardy SS
Alexi Casilla 3B
RHP Nick Blackburn (5-1, 4.50)
Career vs. Yankees
TIME/TV: 8:10 p.m. / YES Network
UMPIRES: HP Scott Barry, 1B Phil Cuzzi, 2B Chris Guccione, 3B Brian O’Nora
WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the high 70s. After that rain on Tuesday, it’s been nothing but perfect weather here in Minneapolis.
TEST FOR JAVY: Javier Vazquez is finally pitching well, but this Twins lineup has been a challenge for him. Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau and Michael Cuddyer have each hit .300 or better against him, and Jim Thome and Jason Kubel have each homered twice against him.
WELCOME SIGHT: Mark Teixeira needs to break out of a slump, and Nick Blackburn might be the perfect guy to help him. It’s only 10 at-bats, but Teixeira is a career .800 hitter against Blackburn. He has one walk, one home run, six RBI and no strikeouts.
CUTTING IT CLOSE: Nearly half of the Yankees games — 22 of 46 — have been decided by two runs or less, including eight of the last nine.
UPDATE, 8:22 p.m.: Jeter and Teixeira got hits — yes, Mark Teixeira — but Rodriguez grounded into a tough double play to end the threat. Scoreless top of the first, here comes Vazquez.
UPDATE, 8:23 p.m.: Curtis Granderson is not in the lineup for the second game of tonight’s Scranton/Wilkes-Barre doubleheader. He’ll instead make his way to New York.
“Overall body, 90 to 95 percent,” Granderson told Donnie Collins. “There are a couple of things I still need. Long Yankees games are going to be the big test, long innings… The groin is actually good. I haven’t felt anything with it. If you dig in and touch it, it’s still tender to the touch. But I don’t feel anything with it.”
Donnie assured me that he did not actually confirm this “dig in and touch it” piece of information. We’ll have to take Granderson at his word. Investigative journalism has its limits.
UPDATE, 8:31 p.m.: Quite a snag by Teixeira to end the inning, but the Twins got a run and a 1-0 lead.
UPDATE, 9:08 p.m.: I’ve been wrapping up some early stories for the newspaper. In that time, Vazquez has been struggling through this Twins lineup. They scored twice in the second inning and have runners at first and second with two outs here in the third.
UPDATE, 9:33 p.m.: Vazquez has settled in a bit. He stranded two runners in the third and pitched through a 1-2-3 fourth. He’s retired five straight and the Yankees have cut the lead to 3-1.
UPDATE, 9:34 p.m.: Well that’s just terrible luck. Cervelli led off with a single, then Russo lined a rocket toward right field, but Morneau snagged it to turn a double into a double play.
UPDATE, 9:53 p.m.: Kind of a strange start for Vazquez. He’s allowed four runs through five innings, but he’s generally done a good job of limiting the damage. In reality, this could be a blowout at this point, but it’s a 4-1 Twins lead. Vazquez hasn’t looked sharp — four doubles and a triple — but he’s occasionally been able to make big pitches. Just a strange start. Not a good one, but not as bad as it might have been.
UPDATE, 9:57 p.m.: Teixeira’s second hit of the game is a lead-off double in the sixth.
UPDATE, 10:12 p.m.: Here comes park after a Jason Kubel home run has made it a 5-2 Twins lead. It’s amazing the Yankees are still in this game. Vazquez occasionally made some good pitches to get out of trouble, and he also got lucky quite often.
UPDATE, 10:33 p.m.: Welcome back Chad Gaudin. He’s in to face Michael Cuddyer with two on and one out in the seventh.
UPDATE, 10:42 p.m.: I got to see Jason Kubel a few times in Triple-A, and he’s a really nice hitter. He has two home runs and a double tonight, and his second homer has given the Twins an 8-2 lead. It really seemed inevitable that they were going to break this game open eventually. They’ve seemed to hit everything hard.