Friday, May 30, 2008

Game 54. Yankees at Twins

By Elizabeth Finn, Blogging the Mystique.

This is going to be pretty bare-bones tonight, because I'm exhausted and I have to be up in 7 hours, but I'm awfully glad I could pop in here to post after a win. It makes the exhaustion palatable, at least. Rebecca's back in the States, but out and about tonight, so this will be my last guest blog here. Feel free to email me or check out my blog. (Not-so-subtle hint)

Mike Mussina raised his win total to a team-high eight and the Yankees overcame a rough first inning that had them trailing 4-1 to top the Twins 6-5 on Friday night and raise their record back to the break-even point.

In the first inning, with the Yankees leading 1-0 and after a one-out hit and a walk, Shelley Duncan fielded a potential double play ball. He threw the ball high and wide to Derek Jeter, loading the bases and setting up a four-run inning for the Twins. Mike Mussina, who was responsible for only two of the runs, threw almost 40 pitches to get out of the inning. At one point, there was stirring in the bullpen, and the game looked to be a repeat of the game from a week before, when the Yankees lost 12-2 to the Orioles and Mussina couldn't escape the first inning.

But Mussina settled down. After a double to Alexi Casilla in the second, Moose retired ten in a row, on his way to pitching five scoreless innings on a season-high 109 pitches. Meanwhile, the Yankees chipped away, scoring one run in the third when Alex Rodriguez knocked in Bobby Abreu following the right-fielder's leadoff triple, his first of two in the game, two in the fourth on Melky Cabrera's single to left, and one in the fifth when Abreu came around to score following his second triple of the night.

The Yankees picked up what would be the difference in the game in the 7th when Hideki Matsui's ground ball single up the middle scored Abreu. Abreu, who stole the 300th base of his career in the 1st inning, had four runs scored, tying a career-high, and Cabrera, Rodriguez, and Matsui each knocked in two runs.

The Yankees' bullpen was shaky but effective enough, with their only blip being a solo home run Kyle Farnsworth gave up to Justin Morneau in the bottom of the 8th.

Mariano Rivera came in to close out the game, striking out two and earning his 14th save in as many opportunities.

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