Derek Jeter DH
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Russell Martin C
Brett Gardner LF
Eduardo Nunez SS
RHP Ivan Nova (12-4, 4.21)
Nova vs. Twins
Ben Revere CF
Trevor Plouffe 2B
Joe Mauer 1B
Jason Kubel RF
Jim Thome DH
Danny Valencia 3B
Rene Tosoni LF
Matt Tolbert SS
Drew Butera C
RHP Nick Blackburn (7-10, 4.53)
Blackburn vs. Yankees
TIME/TV: 2:10 p.m., YES Network / TBS
WEATHER: Day game on our final day in the AL Central. Weather has been absolutely perfect these three days in Minneapolis.
UMPIRES: HP Ron Kulp, 1B Chad Fairchild, 2B Jim Wolf, 3B D.J. Reyburn
UNDER THE SUN: The Yankees are a Major League-best 33-8 in day games this season. They have a .281 combined day batting average (second-highest in Majors) and an American League-most 54 daytime homers. The pitching staff has a 2.96 ERA in day games (second-best mark in the Majors behind Texas).
SUPER NOVA: Ivan Nova is undefeated in his past nine starts, going 8-0 with a 3.90 ERA. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the first Yankees rookie to win eight straight decisions as a starting pitcher since Whitey Ford in 1950.
SECOND AT SECOND: According to SABR’s Trent McCotter, Russell Martin last night became the second Yankee to play both catcher and second base in the same game. Rick Cerone did it in 1990 against Kansas City.
UPDATE, 2:38 p.m.: Well, A.J. Burnett did not have the shortest start of this series. Blackburn is out after three straight walks in the second. He seems hurt.
UPDATE, 2:51 p.m.: A scoring opportunity gets away. Nunez struck out. Jeter flied out. And the Yankees left the bases loaded in the second.
UPDATE, 3:19 p.m.: Nova lost the no-hitter with one out in the fourth. Hardly counts a no-hitter watch, but still. He’s pitching well.
UPDATE, 3:35 p.m.: Rodriguez pops up to leave the bases loaded in the fifth. Second time the Yankees have stranded the bases full. It’s still a scoreless game heading into the bottom of the fifth. The silver lining for the Yankees: Nova has been tremendous.
UPDATE, 3:42 p.m.: Curtis Granderson and Nick Swisher let a ball drop between them, and now the Twins have runners at second and third with no outs in the fifth. Looks like Granderson was calling for the ball, but had to pull back because he was about to collide with Swisher, why tried to get out of the way at the last second. Misplayed, obviously, and now Nova needs to get out of trouble.
UPDATE, 3:49 p.m.: Nova stranded the runners with two strikeouts and a ground ball to third. Even against a weak bottom of the order, that’s big-time pitching from the rookie. Still a scoreless game.
UPDATE, 3:56 p.m.: Cano doubles, takes third on a fly ball to left and scores on a sac fly to center. Simple as that, it’s a 1-0 Yankees lead.
UPDATE, 4:16 p.m.: Granderson’s 35th home run of the season is an inside-the-park job off the wall in right-center. To be fair, it would have been out of almost every other park in the world.
UPDATE, 4:17 p.m.: Make it back-to-back. Teixeira just went deep to left and it’s a 3-0 Yankees lead in the seventh.
UPDATE, 4:35 p.m.: I have to think Nova’s finished for the day. He’s given the Yankees seven scoreless, a significant return to form after a sloppy outing last time in Kansas City.