MINNESOTA — The Yankees scored just two runs in Tuesday’s loss to the Twins, but Aaron Boone saw the night as a step forward amid his team’s offensive drought.
A Minnesota error made one of those runs possible, but Boone walked pleased with the approach and aggressiveness of the Yankees. On Wednesday morning, the manager hoped the previous night would serve as a stepping stone as the Yankees tried to hang the “crooked numbers” Boone desperately craved.
“When you go through a period where we haven’t been swinging the bats great, we’ve got to build on things like that,” Boone said before the Yanks’ series finale against the Twins. A few hours later, the Yankees defeated Minnesota, 12-6, after scoring five runs in the second inning and six in the fourth.
The Yankees had some help to start the second inning, as a wild double turned into a man on third after a Twins throwing error. Torres scored when former Yankee Joey Gallo couldn’t corral a grounder from Willie Calhoun (and backed up to the wrong person, failing to record an out at first base). Anthony Volpe then led off with a single before birthday boy Aaron Judge doubled to make it a 5-0 game.
Judge, Wednesday’s designated hitter, gave the Yankees a scare when he appeared to injure his right hand/wrist while trying to steal third base. He immediately ducked into the Yankees dugout tunnel as the trainers followed him. The reigning MVP could be seen flexing his hand/wrist as he re-entered the dugout, but ultimately remained in the game.
Another Twins error in the fourth inning preceded a two-run double by Volpe. Anthony Rizzo did the same to make it 9-1 before a two-run bomb to second from Torres gave the Yankees a 10-run lead.
DJ LeMahieu added another run in the eighth on a long sac fly to left.
Despite the errors, 10 of the Yankees’ runs were scored by Twins starter Kenta Maeda, who entered the game with a sprained ankle. The right-hander completed just three innings and allowed 11 hits while walking and striking out two.
Domingo German, meanwhile, was fortunate to have a big early lead as he fell victim to the long ball for his second consecutive start. Jose Miranda led the Yankees to right for two hits, including a two-run shot, while Gallo hit a two-run game of his own — his second home run of the series — in the sixth inning to make it a game from 11-5.
The Twins scored one more run on a forced out in the seventh.
The German totaled six innings with five hits, five earned runs, two walks and eight strikeouts. One of three rotation replacements due to injuries, he owns a 5.19 ERA this season.
With the Yankees offense showing signs of life, the team is set to begin a four-game homestand in Texas on Thursday. Gerrit Cole, Clarke Schmidt, Jhony Brito and Nestor Cortes are the likely pitchers for the Yankees. The Rangers starters include two former pinstripers and one former Met in the first three games: Andrew Heaney, Jacob deGrom and Nathan Eovaldi.
Martin Perez is slated to start Sunday’s game.
Boone discussed the possibility of giving Judge a day off— or at least a few days DH — against the Rangers before Wednesday’s stolen base attempt, so don’t be surprised if the outfielder gets some rest.