Yankees pen preserves 6-5 win vs. Twins
By DAVE CAMPBELL
the associated press | July 05,2014
MINNEAPOLIS — The New York Yankees have a bunch of proud, highly paid and accomplished hitters who have been performing much of this season as if they are well past their prime.
Signs of a turnaround have emerged in this series at Minnesota.
Brian Roberts had three doubles and a triple for the first four-extra-base-hit game of his 14-year career, and the Yankees used their bullpen to preserve a 6-5 win over the Twins on Friday.
“Hitting is contagious. I think it goes both ways,” said Roberts, who raised his batting average by 11 points to .248. “When a couple guys start struggling, sometimes everybody starts struggling. A couple guys start hitting, it can kind of roll. So hopefully we’ll fall in that direction.”
David Huff (2-0), the first of four New York relievers, struck out three in three perfect innings after starter Chase Whitley faltered. David Robertson notched his 20th save in the ninth.
“It’s always big when the bullpen can pick up six innings and we still get a win out of it,” Robertson said.
The veterans in the lineup did the heavy lifting early on. Jacoby Ellsbury delivered a two-run single in the second to help finish off Twins starter Kyle Gibson (7-7), and the Yankees had 10 hits for the second straight game.
“It was probably the most frustrating part, looking back,” Gibson said of Ellsbury’s hit that pushed the lead to 6-1.
Gibson brought the American League’s best home-ballpark ERA among qualified pitchers at 1.54, but he only lasted two innings against the Yankees. One of the runs on his line was unearned, due to a passed ball by Suzuki that let Mark Teixeira move up and later score on Carlos Beltran’s sacrifice fly in the first, but almost every ball was hit hard.
“They jumped on him and never let him breathe,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.
Brett Gardner led off the game with a triple, Roberts drove him in with a double and Gibson was on his way to that kind of day. He gave up six hits and one walk, without any strikeouts. Teixeira had an RBI double, and Brendan Ryan added a sacrifice fly.
“We’ve said all along these guys are good hitters, and eventually it’s going to turn,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.