A-Rod homer lifts Yankees to win

August 12, 2008 10:16:13 PM PDT
Alex Rodriguez hit a tiebreaking homer in the 12th inning and the scuffling New York Yankees overcame Mariano Rivera's first blown save of the season, beating the Minnesota Twins 9-6 Tuesday night. Xavier Nady added a two-run shot later in the 12th, also off Matt Guerrier (6-6), to help New York end a four-game skid - its longest this season. Johnny Damon hit a leadoff homer and finished with three hits. He also scored twice.

Rodriguez was 0-for-5 when he stepped to the plate with one out and nobody on in the 12th, having slammed his helmet down in disgust after grounding out to end the ninth.

His drive easily cleared the center-field fence, and A-Rod flipped his bat before commencing a slow trot around the bases.

This one was anything but easy, though.

Behind another solid outing from Mike Mussina, New York led 6-3 when Rivera came to the mound with two on and one out in the eighth. Game over, right? Not so fast.

Delmon Young sliced a three-run homer inside the right-field foul pole, stunning Rivera and the Yankees.

Perhaps the greatest closer in baseball history, Rivera was off to a career-best 28-for-28 start to the season on save chances. But he was able to steel himself after the disappointment of Young's homer to pitch 1 2-3 innings. Jose Veras (3-1) worked two innings for the win and Edwar Ramirez earned his first save.

Young had three hits and scored three runs for the Twins, who couldn't overcome their fourth deficit of the night in the 12th inning against Ramirez.

Justin Morneau finished 0-for-4 with an intentional walk and Twins hitters went 0-for-9 in the 10th, 11th and 12th. Minnesota fell out of first place in the AL Central again, a half-game behind Chicago.

A loss Tuesday could have been a major blow to the Yankees, who haven't missed the postseason since 1993. They moved within eight games of first-place Tampa Bay in the AL East and remained five behind Boston in the wild-card standings by winning for only the sixth time in 17 games.

Notes: Yankees RHP Phil Hughes made a rehab start for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He allowed two runs and three hits with four strikeouts and a walk in 5 1-3 innings against Pawtucket. ... RHP Carl Pavano's rehab start for Double-A Trenton on Tuesday didn't go as well. He gave up seven hits, including two homers, and five runs in 4 1-3 innings. He also hit two batters with pitches. ... Yankees DH-LF Hideki Matsui will run the bases for the second time Wednesday. That puts him on course to start a rehab assignment as soon as Friday. ... Twins 2B Nick Punto snapped an 0-for-13 skid with a double in the fifth.


Load Comments