Following a 5-3 victory in the series opener, the New York Yankees will look to repeat the act in the middle game and get back above .500.

  • Minnesota Twins (23-50)
  • New York Yankees (36-36)
  • American League, 1:05 pm ET, WPIX
  • Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY

Friday night’s victory marked the eighth time the New York Yankees have pulled their record even in 2016. A win that featured a dominant back end of the bullpen and sufficient offense provided the Yanks with a chance to capitalize in game number two.

Only three of those eight times have they pulled above the .500 mark the following day. If there is a time do it, now is the time. They are facing a Minnesota Twins team that sits dead last in baseball and their three errors last night paving the way showed why.

The Bombers sit six games off the pace in the AL East but, more intriguingly, two and a half games out of a playoff spot.

These final two games against Minnesota at Yankee Stadium provide the club with an opportunity to move towards the promise land and move that “sellers” viewpoint away from fans.

Burying a bad team is the first step, and they have a questionable man on the mound to do so.

Pitching Matchup

Michael Pineda (3-7, 5.82 ERA) will get the ball for New York as he looks to continue his general uptrend and resurrection of his season. He followed two consecutive strong outings with a shaky one last time out against this same Twins team.

Back at Target field, he allowed three earned runs over five and a third innings yet struck out nine. It was your typical Pineda outing.

The right-hander has been better, but still has to prove he is a mainstay in this rotation to keep his consistent spot.

Opposing him on the mound for Minnesota will be 33-year-old righty Ervin Santana (2-7, 4.83 ERA). Overall, he has been subpar this season. In his last start, he was stellar against New York.

In picking up his second win of the season, he fired seven and a third innings of two run ball while walking none and striking out four. He will look for a repeat act this afternoon in an attempt to correct the tide of his campaign. However, he has surrendered 10 home runs in 17 1/3 career innings at Yankee Stadium while pitching to a distasteful 5.19 ERA.

Lineups

Players To Watch

Mark Teixeira (NYY)

The 36-year-old is making his return from the disabled list after rehabbing his right knee non-surgically.

With that said, the question is not whether Tex can be on the field, it is whether he will be playing at full strength and producing at an effective rate. In 48 games prior to going down, the first baseman was hitting a dismal .180 with three homers and 12 runs batted in.

Eduardo Nunez (MIN)

Former Yankee Eduardo Nunez is having a renaissance year in Minnesota. He maintains an oustanding .315/.346/.470 slash, has left the yard nine times, driven in 28 runs, and swiped 17 bags on the year.

His two-run single last night nearly came back to hurt the Yankees, who were eventually able to overcome it and take the ballgame.

Bold Prediction

Mark Teixeira hits a three-run homer in his first game back and the Yankees hammer Ervin Santana for eight earned runs in three innings. Michael Pineda turns in a quality start and the Yanks win it by a final of 10-4 and move back above the .500 mark.

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