Yanks beat Twins, continue surge

July 22, 2008 8:22:26 PM PDT
Bobby Abreu hit a go-ahead homer in the sixth and drove in three runs, leading the surging New York Yankees past the Minnesota Twins 8-2 on Tuesday night, their ninth consecutive victory at home.Derek Jeter added a two-run double and Robinson Cano continued his typical second-half tear with two RBI singles, his fifth straight multihit game since the All-Star break.

New York's effective bullpen came through again after Darrell Rasner was pulled in the sixth, and the Yankees (55-45) won their fifth straight overall to go 10 games over .500 for the first time this season. They moved within 3½ games of first-place Tampa Bay in the AL East.

The home winning streak is New York's longest since a nine-game run in May 2005.

Minnesota, which began the night one-half game behind Chicago in the AL Central, dropped to 3-18 at Yankee Stadium since the start of the 2002 season. The Twins (55-45) have lost seven straight series in the Bronx.

Trailing 2-1 in the sixth, New York got a rally going against Kevin Slowey (6-7), who was pitching for the first time in 12 days.

Johnny Damon led off with a single and Abreu hit a two-run homer with one out. Alex Rodriguez then singled to chase Slowey, who was 4-0 in his previous six starts.

Rodriguez stole second and Dennys Reyes walked Jason Giambi before Cano's RBI single made it 4-2.

The Yankees broke it open with four runs in the seventh.

Light-hitting rookie Brett Gardner drew a leadoff walk from Jesse Crain, and Damon reached on an error by third baseman Brian Buscher. Jeter grounded a two-run double down the third-base line and Abreu followed with an RBI double.

Giambi's run-scoring single off Brian Bass made it 8-2.

David Robertson (2-0) relieved Rasner with runners at the corners in the sixth and retired Delmon Young on a grounder to keep New York's deficit at 2-1.

Jose Veras pitched a scoreless seventh, Kyle Farnsworth struck out three in a hitless eighth and Dan Giese finished.

Rodriguez hit a leadoff double in the second and scored on a one-out single by Cano, who is 12-for-23 since the All-Star break. The second baseman is batting .339 after the break for his career.

Minnesota went ahead 2-1 in the sixth. Carlos Gomez led off with a double, went to third on Denard Span's infield single and scored when Giambi couldn't handle Cano's rushed throw to first.

The error was charged to Giambi, who later made a nice play on Jason Kubel's RBI groundout.