Nova was untouchable through the first three and got two quick outs in the fourth. Justin Morneau then got the first Minnesota hit of the evening, driving a double to center. Delmon Young tapped a slow roller to third for an infield single. Jim Thome then reached down and drove a double to center, putting two runs on the board for the Twins. Nova stayed composed and got the last out of the game, but the score was now 4-2.
In the top of the fifth Alexi Casilla doubled to right, as Swisher had trouble getting a handle on the ball. Nova came back and struck out Denard Span, but a double by Tsuyoshi Nishioka scored Casilla and put the Twins within one. Nova got Joe Mauer to second to end the inning, but the Yankees lead stood at just 4-3.
Brett Gardner: If he’s going to hit leadoff he will need to eventually – hit. He went 0-3 and is 2-15 so far through the first four games.
Derek Jeter: The Captain is also continuing to struggle at the plate. He went 0-4 and also picked up an error.
Ivan Nova: Nova picked up the win, going six innings and giving up three runs on six hits. He struck out three and walked one. Overall, I thought Nova showed some good improvement over last season, when he seemed to fall apart as soon as runners got on base. He still appears almost untouchable for the first three innings.
Robinson Cano: Robbie went 2-4.
Alex Rodriguez: A-Rod went 1-4 with two RBIs on a homerun. If his homer hadn’t been such a big part of the game he might have ended up in the Bronx Cheers section for grounding into two double plays.
Bullpen: Joba, Soriano and Mo each pitched one inning. Joba pitched a perfect inning while Soriano and Mo each gave up a hit, while each picking up a strikeout.
In The On Deck Circle:
The Yankees will try to keep their hot start going when CC Sabathia and Brian Duensing face off on Tuesday. Sabathia never faced the Twins in the 2010 regular season, although he is 13-8 with a 3.05 ERA against Minnesota lifetime. Duensing spent the first part of 2010 in AAA, but made an impact in the second half. He went 10-3 with a 2.62 ERA and a 3.85 FIP. First pitch is at 7:05 at Yankee Stadium.