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Cuddyer lifts Twins past Yankees

Jun 1, 2008 - 10:19 PM By Brian Hall PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- The Minnesota Twins might be feeling a little lucky after beating the New York Yankees on Sunday. Starting pitcher Nick Blackburn's luck didn't have to do with the victory.

Michael Cuddyer went 3-for-4 with three RBI, but Blackburn left the game in the fifth inning after he was hit by a line drive off the bat of Bobby Abreu as the Twins cruised to a 5-1 victory over the Yankees at the Metrodome on Sunday.

After Derek Jeter belted a solo home run - his third of the season - in the fifth, Abreu lined a shot up the middle that deflected off Blackburn's glove and hit him in the nose. The rookie righthander fell to the ground, but later walked off under his own power. X-rays proved negative and he is listed as day-to-day.

"I think if I didn't get glove on it, it would have been a lot worse," Blackburn said. "Luckily, reactions just took over and I was able to stop it a little bit."

Blackburn pitched 4 1/3 innings, giving up just one run on five hits and three walks. He struck out three. Brian Bass (2-1) entered, throwing 1 1/3 innings to get the victory. Jesse Crain added two solid innings, and Joe Nathan finished it off with a scoreless ninth.

Minnesota struck early off New York starter Darrell Rasner (3-2). In the first, Alexi Casilla singled and Mike Redmond doubled before Cuddyer drove them both home with a two-out single to center.

"Not just two-out hits, but hits with runners in scoring position," Cuddyer said. "I looked up and saw we were leading the league in average with runners in scoring position, and that, in my opinion, is the ingredient to win. When you get opportunities to score, you have to score them."

Rasner went 5 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits while striking out five. But his offense didn't offer much support.

The Yankees squandered a big-time opportunity in the third after loading the bases. Johnny Damon doubled and Blackburn walked Jeter and Abreu. Alex Rodriguez then popped out weakly to second, and Hideki Matsui was retired after bouncing a ball back to Blackburn as the Twins got out of the jam.

"You're going to have days like this," New York manager Joe Girardi said. "We didn't really have a ton of opportunities. We had one big opportunity and we weren't able to cash in. Blackburn has thrown the ball well all year and he did a nice job against us.

"Anytime you get the bases loaded with less than two outs, you expect to get some runs. Today, it didn't happen."

An inning later, Minnesota loaded the bases and followed with a bit more success. Justin Morneau led off with a ground-rule double, Cuddyer singled and Jason Kubel walked. Mike Lamb scored Morneau with a sacrifice fly to give the Twins a 3-0 advantage.

Jeter's home run made it 3-1, but Morneau answered back in the sixth with a bit of a break. Leading off the inning, he nailed a drive to the right-center field gap. New York center fielder Melky Cabrera picked up the ball at the wall, but slipped on the warning track. In the process, he overthrew Abreu allowing Morneau to circle the bases to make it a 4-1 game. Morneau was credited with a triple and a run on the error.

"He thought his best option was to get the ball to Bobby and he overthrew Bobby," Girardi said. "You know, if you are around the game long enough, you see some strange things."

Cuddyer then struck again with two outs in the seventh with an RBI triple, scoring Redmond as Minnesota ended a three-game losing streak to the Yankees.

"If they take him off on a stretcher, then yeah it would have been extremely hard to continue to play," Cuddyer said. "Especially tough for someone like Bass to have to come in and pitch after that, but he did an unbelievable job and kept us with the lead. Then we took over after that. Just a good job by the pitching staff today."






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    Yankees 1, Twins 5  FinalJun 2 12:04 AM


  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    NY YANKEES 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 8 1
    MINNESOTA 2 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 x 5 9 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: NYY - DARRELL RASNER, SCOTT PATTERSON (6TH), CHRIS BRITTON (7TH) AND
    CHAD MOELLER
    MIN - NICK BLACKBURN, BRIAN BASS (5TH), JESSE CRAIN
    (7TH), JOE NATHAN (9TH) AND M

    Jun 1 5:03 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY MICHAEL CUDDYER SCORED MIKE REDMOND.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M CUDDYER ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: NY YANKEES 1
    MINNESOTA 5 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J KUBEL (.240, 0-FOR-1, 2 BB)

    Yankees 1, Twins 5  Bot 7, 0 OutsJun 1 4:38 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY MELKY CABRERA ALLOWED JUSTIN MORNEAU TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: NY YANKEES 1
    MINNESOTA 4 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: M CUDDYER (.242, 2-FOR-2, 2 RBI)

    Yankees 1, Twins 4  Bot 6, 0 OutsJun 1 4:02 PM
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    Yankees 1, Twins 3  Bot 6, 0 OutsJun 1 3:58 PM
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    Yankees 1, Twins 3  Bot 5, 0 OutsJun 1 3:44 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY DEREK JETER (3) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN THE
    5TH OFF NICK BLACKBURN.
    CURRENT SCORE: NY YANKEES 1, MINNESOTA 3
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: B ABREU (.297, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Yankees 1, Twins 3  Top 5, 0 OutsJun 1 3:32 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY MIKE LAMB SCORED JUSTIN MORNEAU.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J KUBEL ON FIRST, M CUDDYER ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: NY YANKEES 0
    MINNESOTA 3 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: B HARRIS (.251, 0-FOR-1)

    Yankees 0, Twins 3  Bot 4, 0 OutsJun 1 3:27 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MICHAEL CUDDYER SCORED ALEXI CASILLA AND MIKE
    REDMOND.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, M CUDDYER ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: NY YANKEES 0
    MINNESOTA 2 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J KUBEL (.241, 6 HR, 27 RBI)

    Yankees 0, Twins 2  Bot 1, 0 OutsJun 1 2:32 PM
  • Silversword55 GOOD LUCK YANKEES! GO YANKEES!

    Yankees vs. TwinsJun 1 12:08 PM
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    Yankees vs. TwinsJun 1 12:07 PM