By HOWIE RUMBERG AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK (AP) _ Carl Pavano quieted an unfriendly Yankee Stadium
crowd with seven solid innings, Justin Morneau played in the field
for the first time this season and hit a long homer, and the
Minnesota Twins earned a rare victory in New York, 7-3 on Monday
Joe Mauer had three hits, including two doubles, and every
position player had a hit in a tweaked Minnesota lineup. Josh
Willingham batted fourth for the first time this season and was one
of seven Twins to drive in a run.
Minnesota won for just the sixth time in 34 regular-season games
in the Bronx since Ron Gardenhire took over as manager in 2002.
In just his second outing in New York since an injury-wrecked
four years with the Yankees ended after the 2008 season, Pavano
(1-1) gave up three runs and seven hits. He struck out six and
Yankees fans showed they can hold a grudge. They were relentless
with their boos when Pavano was introduced before the game. After a
rocky first, in which he gave up back-to-back homers to Derek Jeter
and Curtis Granderson to start the inning, Pavano mostly hushed the
Gardenhire tried generating some offense by splitting his
lefty-hitting M&M boys in the lineup for the first time since 2008,
according to STATS LLC. Mauer hit third as the designated hitter
and Morneau moved down to fifth and played first base. Morneau had
been the DH in the Twins first nine games as he is being brought
back slowly from injuries, including a concussion that limited him
to 69 games last year.
The adjustment worked right off the bat with Willingham driving
in Mauer with a single in the first. In fact, the Twins had five
straight hits after Freddy Garcia (0-1) struck out Denard Span
looking to start the game.
Mauer doubled after Jamey Carroll singled and was caught
stealing. Morneau followed Willingham with a single and Ryan Doumit
had an RBI hit to make it 2-0.
But Pavano gave it right back.
Jeter learned earlier Monday that he was being given an honorary
doctorate from Siena, a college in Loudonville, N.Y., then homered
_ his third _ leading off. Granderson followed Jeter’s drive with
another into the right-field seats for the Yankees’ first
back-to-back homers to start a game since September 2005, when
Jeter and Robinson Cano did it.
Jeter didn’t hit his third home run last year until July 9, when
he connected for his 3,000th hit.
Alex Rodriguez then beat out an infield hit and advanced to
second on third baseman Danny Valencia’s errant throw. He scored on
Mark Teixeira’s single for a 3-2 lead.
Alexi Casilla doubled with one out in the fifth to snap a string
of 11 straight outs by the Twins that started after the five hits
in a row. Carroll followed with a run-scoring single and Mauer an
RBI double to give Minnesota the lead. Morneau led off the sixth
with a drive into the Yankees bullpen for a 5-3 lead. An out later,
Garcia was lifted to boos.
While he had better control in this start after a five
wild-pitch performance in his first outing, Garcia gave up nine
hits and five runs. He struck out five without walking a batter.
With Andy Pettitte working his way back from retirement and
Michael Pineda rehabbing his shoulder, Garcia could be losing his
grip on a rotation spot.
NOTES: Granderson raced into the left-center field gap to make a
sensational catch on a drive by Morneau. … Plate umpire Gerry
Davis was hit on the hand by a shard of Morneau’s bat on a
groundout in the fourth inning. Davis was treated for several
minutes but remained in the game. Morneau looked back toward home
plate as he ran down the first base line after the bat shattered.
… Twins LHP Glen Perkins had an MRI exam that showed some
tenderness in his forearm. He will remain back in Minnesota for two
more days before deciding if any further action is needed. …
Jeter’s leadoff homer was his 26th, extending his Yankees record.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)