Byron Buxton and Trevor Larnach traded two-run home runs in a four-run sixth inning, and Joe Ryan became the first Twins pitcher since 1979 to start a season with a 5-0 record, when the Twins beat the New York Yankees, 6-2, in front of 19,201 on Tuesday at Target Field.
With the win, the Twins sealed their first season series victory over the Yankees since 2001. Minnesota won the first two games of this three-game series, and the Twins split a four-game series with New York in the 13 -April 16.
The win also gives Minnesota its first series win against the Yankees since they took two of three games from September 10-12, 2018.
Buxton’s two-run shot to left chased Yankees starter Nestor Cortes with no outs in the sixth, scoring Jorge Polanco on a leadoff double to break a 2-2 tie. It was Buxton’s fourth home run of the season and it came on a full count.
The Yankees brought in righty Ron Marinaccio, who struck out Jose Miranda and allowed an infield single to Ryan Jeffers. Larnach then launched the first pitch he saw into the home run porch from right-center field for his third home run of the season and a 6-2 Twins lead.
Larnach’s homer was clocked at 107.1 mph off the bat and traveled about 420 feet.
Ryan (5-0) scattered seven hits over seven innings, struck out seven and walked no batters. He was charged with just one earned run and lowered his season average to 2.81. Ryan joined four other franchise pitchers — the Twins and Senators — to start a season 5-0, the last being Jerry Koosman in 1979.
Minnesota has won Ryan’s last nine starts since Sept. 13. He is 8-0 with no decisions. Jorge Lopez and Jhoan Duran each pitched a scoreless inning for the Twins.
Cortes (3-1) was charged with four runs, three earned on five hits. He struck out six and did not walk.
The Yankees scored a two-out run off Ryan in the first when Aaron Judge pulled the first pitch he saw into left field for a single, then moved to second on a wild pitch. Next batter DJ LeMahieu singled to right to score Judge for a 1-0 lead.
The Twins responded in the third against Cortes.
Michael A. Taylor reached on an error by shortstop Anthony Volpe and scored on Donovan Solano’s double into the left field corner to tie the game at 1-1. After Carlos Correa struck out, Jorge Polanco laced another double to left to score Solano and make it 2-1.
The Yankees got that run back in the top of the fifth.
Striker no. 9th baseman Aaron Hicks reached on a grounder that went under Solano’s glove at first, though it was ruled a single. Volpe followed with a single to left to put runners on first and second for Anthony Rizzo.
Ryan struck out Rizzo looking for the first out, and Judge grounded into a potential double-play ball at third, where Jose Miranda threw his throw to second but was able to force Volpe out. But Polanco’s relay throw to Solano was dropped and bounced into foul territory, scoring Hicks with the tying run from third.
Solano was charged with a game foul.