Andy Pettitte tossed six shutout innings and the Yanks hit 4 HR in defeating the Twins 6-3 Monday night.
The Yanks win, coupled with Baltimore splitting a DH, pushed the Yanks a game and a half in front of the Orioles for the A.L. East lead. The Yanks’ magic number to win the division is 8.
The Yankees jumped off to a quick start. Jeter walked, Ichiro doubled. After A-Rod flied out, not bringing the run in, Cano’s groundout plated Jeter. Swisher then hit HR #23 to put the Yanks up 3-0 before Minnesota came to bat.
Pettitte got out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the first. Since returning from a broken ankle, Andy has pitched eleven scoreless innings. Pettitte, who missed all of 2011 and came out of retirement this year, has been nothing short of amazing in improving to 5-3, 2.71. Win #245 of his career tied Jack Powell and Dennis Martinez on the all-time list.
In the fourth, Curtis Granderson hit HR #40 to put the Yanks up 4-0. Granderson became the first CF since Mickey Mantle (1960-1961) to hit 40 HR in back-to-back seasons. He joined Ruth, Gehrig, Mantle and Giambi as the only Yankees to have back-to-back 40 HR seasons. (Maris just missed, 39 in 1960 before 61 in 1961. Another who just missed was Alfonso Soriano, 39 in 2002 and 38 in 2003).
In the bottom of the inning, Granderson threw out a runner at the plate to end the inning.
Pettitte went 6, 0 R, 7 H, 1 walk and 3 K.
In the seventh, Ibanez, who is enjoying a revival the past few games, hit HR #18, and one batter later Chavez hit HR #14. 6-0 Yanks.
Joba had a 1-2-3 seventh. 1 IP, 0 R , 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 4.91. He’s been much better lately.
Then the bullpen got sloppy.
Wade 2/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 6.46.
Justin Thomas 2/3 IP, 2 R, 1 H, 1 walk and 1 K. 8.22.
Robertson 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 1 K. 2.84.
Derek Jeter got hit #3295. Ibanez had two hits, Chavez three.