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New York Yankees Reaction: Offense Shines, Tanaka Strong As Yanks Pound Twins (Highlights)

An offensive outburst provided more than enough support for Masahiro Tanaka as the New York Yankees defeated the Minnesota Twins for the second straight night at Target Field.

  • New York Yankees: 8 (33-34)
  • Minnesota Twins: 2 (20-47)
  • American League, FINAL, Box Score
  • Target Field, Minneapolis, MN

A 35 minute rain delay proved to be no obstacle as it was evident from the get-go that this night was going to be all New York Yankees. The offense hammered Twins starter Pat Dean, who surrendered eight hits and seven runs over two and a third lousy innings.

A four-run first inning gave Yankee ace Masahiro Tanaka a sense of comfort that he rode to victory. Rob Refsnyder doubled in Jacoby Ellsbury to provide an early edge, Carlos Beltran blasted a two-run shot for his 17th homer of the year, and Didi Gregorius picked up an RBI infield single in what was a significant, table-setting first frame.

The Yanks added three more in the third as Gregorius picked up his second RBI on a fielder’s choice and Austin Romine followed him with a two-run double that blew the game open.

A fourth inning Starlin Castro sacrifice fly made it an 8-1 game and capped off the potent attack that aided Tanaka tremendously.

The right-hander was able to work in the zone all night as there was no fear of the lead dwindling at any point. He was able to spin that confidence into eight strong innings of one run ball which featured no walks handed out by the 27-year-old.

Length is the vital factor that Tanaka provided Joe Girardi with, as the skipper did not have to go to any of his big three and virtually spelled the bullpen for a night.

Nick Goody, who sealed the deal in the ninth, was the only man he had to call upon.

With the victory, according to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, the Yankees took their seventh straight meeting with the Twins and improved to 20-5 at Target Field since the ballpark’s opening.

The Yanks also moved to within one game of .500 (33-34) in the effort and gained a game in the AL East. They sit five and a half back in the division and three back in the loss column for a playoff spot.

The Extra Day

When Masahiro Tanaka has been handed an extra day of rest this season, he has greatly rewarded the Yankees. With tonight’s performance on 5 days of rest, the right-hander is 3-0 with a 1.24 ERA in six starts when given that vital additional day.

This is in comparison to a 1-2 record and a 4.70 ERA in six starts on normal rest. Whether it is matter of strength or a certain mental capacity Tanaka harnesses, the Yanks need to find a way to get him on five days as frequently as possible.

With the current generic five-man starting rotation, there are going to be instances when Tanaka is forced into a general four day situation. However, when an off day presents itself, the organization needs to take these splits into account.

The six starts of that nature, including tonight, are a major reason why his ERA sits at an outstanding 2.91 clip.

Back In The Groove

For the last few days, Carlos Beltran has been readjusting after a cortisone shot made its impact on an ailing left knee.

However, he seemed to be right back in the swing of things tonight. The right fielder picked up right where he left off, blasting his 17th homer of the season into the second deck in left field while driving in his 45th and 46th runs.

The three hits that he ended up collecting on the evening raised his batting average to a formidable .281.

The 39-year-old did not have 17 home runs last year until the Yankees were in the thick of a division race in September. This year, he has that number prior to the halfway point of the campaign.

What’s Next?

The Yankees will look to secure a series win at the very least as the teams will have a quick turnaround for tomorrow’s ballgame.

Michael Pineda (3-7, 5.88 ERA) will oppose Ricky Nolasco (3-4, 5.12 ERA) on the Target Field mound.

After an extremely rough start to his season, Pineda has been stellar in each of his last three starts. Over that span, the right-hander is 1-1 with a 2.89 ERA.

Nolasco, who will take the ball for Minnesota, has largely struggled thus far in 2016. Opponents have hit .284 off the 33-year-old, who has stumbled to a 5.54 ERA over his last seven starts.

First pitch will commence at 2:10 pm ET from Minnesota as the Yankees go for their third in a row and the Twins look to snap a four game losing skid. The game can be seen on YES and MLB Network (out-of-market), and heard on WFAN 660/101.9 FM.

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