The top of the third started meekly enough. The Yankees trailed at that point, 1-0, as Sabathia had allowed a single, a slow ground out and another single in the bottom of the second. Chris Stewart started it off with a weak ground out. Despite a lineup full of left-hand batters, Girardi decided not to make changes despite the left-handed Duensing. That allowed Chris Dickerson to bat and he singled to center. Ichiro Suzuki did the same thing to make it first and second with one out. Duensing then walked Derek Jeter to load the bases. Robinson Cano, who appears to be back in the groove again after three hits last night, hit a line drive over the head of Ben Revere in right to score Dickerson and Suzuki. Jeter stopped at third. Nick Swisher singled to score Jeter and send Cano to third. Curtis Granderson then hit a hot smash by the first baseman, Chris Parmelee, that rolled all the way to the corner. Cano and Swisher scored and Granderson had himself a triple, his fourth of the season. All those lefty batters did the damage and the Yankees had a 6-1 lead.
Sabathia settled into a nice groove after that. He sent the Twins down in order in the third and then struck out the side on eleven pitches in the fourth. He ran into a little trouble in the fifth and Eric Chavez, playing third, had a little brain cramp. With one out, Sabathia walked Jamey Carroll, his only walk of the game. Alexi Casilla singled and Carroll moved up to second. Pedro Florimon then hit a ground ball to Eric Chavez who ran casually to third to step on the bag and started heading into the dugout. The only problem was that there was only two outs. Chavez finally found out that he would be on highlight reels for about a month and looked sheepish. A passed ball by Stewart moved the runners up a base. Sabathia saved them all by getting Denard Span to ground out weakly to Swisher at first.
Raul Ibanez hit a double past first to lead off the sixth. Chris Stewart failed to get a bunt down twice and then dutifully hit a weak ground to second to move Ibanez to third. The announcers praised Stewart for making his out. It did not matter though because Chris Dickerson then hit a bomb of a homer to right to score both he and Ibanez. Ichiro then singled but Derek Jeter ended the inning on a line drive double-play. Jeter went without a hit in four at bats to go with his walk and run scored and his long hitting streak came to an end.
Sabathia ran into some trouble in the bottom of the seventh. After retiring the first two batters, Sabathia again ran into the gnats of Carroll and Casilla and both singled. Pedro Florimon then hit a grounder up the middle that most likely would have been an out. But Sabathia’s instincts took over and he tried to kick save the ball and it caromed into short right field and Carroll scored. Sabathia retired Denard Span for the last out.
The Yankees would not add to their score and Sabathia had a 1-2-3 eighth to complete his day. David Aardsma and Cody Eppley warmed up before the ninth and everyone hoped Aardsma would get the call in the ninth. But Eppley was the choice and he retired the Twins easily to end the game. Brett Gardner was a defensive replacement that inning and played a major league baseball game for the first time in a rather long time.
Notes: Ichiro, Cano, Dickerson and Ibanez all had two-hit games. The Yankees scored on a two-run double, a two-run triple and a two-run homer during the game. Sabathia was head and shoulders above Joe Mauer in this game and struck him out three times in four at bats. Only Jeter and Chavez went without a hit in the game for the starters, but both got on base via the walk. The win was the Yankees’ 90th of the season. Robinson Cano made two great plays in the field, one a diving stop and throw and the second on the back end of a tough play by Nick Swisher on a swinging bunt. Great defense. Pedro Florimon also made a web gem quality play at short getting plenty of air to go up and get a line drive.