Berrios, Twins top Yankees 6-1 for elusive home series win
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Jose Berrios was coming off his worst start of the season, during which his personal trainer spotted some stiffness on the right side of his delivery.
He loosened up. The Minnesota Twins did too, with an early burst.
Miguel Sano hit a three-run home run, Jose Berrios went strong into the seventh inning and the Twins beat New York 6-1 on Wednesday to win their first home series against the Yankees in nine years.
Berrios (9-3) allowed only one run, his fewest in 11 starts, on a two-out single by Brett Gardner in the seventh before being removed.
“I think he got a little more confidence back,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “He got back on track, and he looked like a different guy with the lead.”
Berrios improved to 6-0 in seven afternoon turns this season and helped drop the Yankees to 0-8-2 in their past 10 series.
Last weekend at Houston, Berrios was pulled with two outs in the second inning after allowing four hits, three walks and seven runs, though only two were earned.
Zack Granite sparked a two-out, six-run surge by the Twins in the second inning against Yankees starter Jordan Montgomery (6-5) with a two-run single, his first major league RBIs.
Eduardo Escobar tacked on an RBI single before Sano crushed an 0-2 curveball that hung over the plate into the bullpen for a 6-0 lead.
“I was ready for any pitch he put in the zone that I can drive to the wall,” said Sano, who has 23 homers this year.
Montgomery (6-5) recovered and completed six innings, but the damage was done during the 38-pitch second inning that yielded a career-high six runs allowed. The Twins went 4 for 30 with runners in scoring position over the first two games of the series, but they were 3 for 7 in this one.
“Definitely gave me a second wind,” Berrios said. “I wasn’t really thinking about it, but it definitely helped.”
Montgomery was the first left-handed starter to lose to the Twins in eight matchups since David Holmberg on June 21 with the Chicago White Sox. In those past seven such games, the Twins scored a total of nine runs off those lefty starters.
“It just snowballed, and I couldn’t stop the bleeding,” Montgomery said.
Despite a 10-22 record in the past 32 games, Yankees manager Joe Girardi stressed optimism.
“I just feel like we’re poised to make a good little run here,” he said. “I like what our pitchers are doing and the way they’re competing. Offensively, we’ll get going and we’ll put things together.”
The trio acquired by the Yankees in a trade with the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday, infielder Todd Frazier and relievers David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle, arrived at the ballpark around game time and soon joined their new teammates in the dugout .
Frazier entered as a pinch-hitter, striking out in the seventh inning and staying in the game at third base. Kahnle pitched a perfect eighth inning, striking out two.
The previous time the Twins took a series from the Yankees anywhere was June 2014 in New York. Their previous series victory against the Yankees at home was August 2008 at the Metrodome.
Yankees: Frazier was the third player hit by a pitch, when Twins rookie Trevor Hildenberger plunked him on the right hand in the ninth. He stayed in the game and wore an ice wrap afterward but said it was only precautionary.
Twins: CF Byron Buxton (strained left groin) has been progressing well, on a track to return on Tuesday when he’s eligible to come off the DL.
Yankees: RHP Luis Severino (5-4, 3.40 ERA) will take the mound on Thursday at Seattle to begin a four-game series. Severino has 16 strikeouts in 14 innings over his past two starts, with four runs allowed. RHP Felix Hernandez (5-3, 4.20 ERA) will pitch for the Mariners.
Twins: After a day off on Thursday, All-Star RHP Ervin Santana (11-6, 2.99 ERA) will take the series opener on Friday against Detroit. He leads the major leagues with four complete games and three shutouts. RHP Anibal Sanchez (1-0, 6.08 ERA) will pitch for the Tigers. Sanchez has walked only one batter over his past four starts.
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