Sports

M and M Boys Morneau and Marquis Lift Twins Past Yanks

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Justin Morneau and Chris Parmelee Al Bello Getty Images Sport

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By MIKE FITZPATRICK    AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK (AP) _ Justin Morneau hit two mammoth homers and Jason
Marquis won his Minnesota debut with his healthy daughter in the
stands, sending the Twins to a 6-5 victory over the New York
Yankees on Wednesday night.

Joe Mauer and Jamey Carroll each had an RBI double in a four-run
first inning against Hiroki Kuroda, helping the Twins improve to
9-34 at Yankee Stadium _ including the playoffs _ since Ron
Gardenhire became manager in 2002. Minnesota has won two of three
in the four-game set.

Morneau hit a two-run shot in the first and a solo drive in the
fifth that chased Kuroda, who was coming off an excellent outing in
New York’s home opener Friday. The 2006 AL MVP, derailed by a
concussion as well as wrist and neck injuries the past two seasons,
has four home runs in his last six games _ matching his total in 69
games last year.

Robinson Cano hit his first home run of the season for the
Yankees and Derek Jeter his fourth. Kuroda (1-2) was roughed up for
10 hits in 4 1-3 innings after taking a shutout into the ninth
Friday against the Angels.

Morneau’s drive deep into the raised right-field bleachers in
the fifth gave the slugger his 15th career multihomer game and
first since May 31, 2011, at Detroit.

No surprise that it came at the new Yankee Stadium, where he has
seven home runs in 12 games. He has five homers in 80 games at
Target Field in Minnesota.

Morneau, who sat out Tuesday night for the first time this
season, also singled and scored in the third on Sean Burroughs’
first hit and RBI with the Twins.

No doubt it was an emotional day for Marquis (1-0), who grew up
in New York rooting for the Yankees and still lives in the city. He
left about 30 tickets for family and friends for his first career
start at Yankee Stadium.

Marquis signed a $3 million, one-year contract with the Twins in
the offseason but left spring training after four starts when his
7-year-old daughter, Reese, was seriously hurt in a bicycle
accident. Her injuries included a lacerated kidney and doctors
initially were worried about whether she would survive. But she has
recovered nicely and she was in the third-base stands Wednesday
after bouncing around the ballpark with her dad the day before.

Needing to build up arm strength and stamina, Marquis made two
starts at Double-A New Britain before he was recalled Wednesday.
During his time with the Rock Cats, he commuted about 130 miles
each way to and from Connecticut so he could spend time with his
daughter as she healed.

Marquis threw 87 pitches in five innings and left with a 6-4
lead. He earned his first major league win since July 18 with the
Nationals at Houston.

Twins relievers Brian Duensing, Jared Burton and Matt Capps
combined for four solid innings. Capps gave up Jeter’s solo shot
before fanning Curtis Granderson and retiring Mark Teixeira on a
long fly for his third save.

Minnesota jumped on Kuroda right away, taking a 4-0 lead after
five batters.

Denard Span, ejected Tuesday night along with Gardenhire, opened
the game with a single and scored on Carroll’s double. Mauer looped
an RBI double inside the left-field line and Morneau hit the first
pitch he saw deep into the Yankees’ bullpen beyond the 385-foot
sign.

Cano’s RBI double and Swisher’s two-run single cut it to 4-3 in
the bottom half. New York then loaded the bases against a laboring
Marquis, but second baseman Alexi Casilla made a nice stab to start
an inning-ending double play on Eric Chavez’s sharp one-hopper.

NOTES: Yankees LF Brett Gardner was a late scratch with a sore
right elbow after making a tumbling catch Tuesday night. He was
replaced by Andruw Jones, who began the night 9 for 12 (.750) with
five homers and 14 RBIs against Marquis. Jones drew a 10-pitch walk
in the first inning and struck out in the fourth. … With the
Yankees in the midst of playing 13 straight days, 3B Alex Rodriguez
was rested for the first time this season and Swisher was the DH.
Rodriguez grounded out as a pinch-hitter in the ninth. …
Minnesota designated infielder Luke Hughes for assignment to open a
roster spot for Marquis. … Miss America 2012 Laura Kaeppeler,
from Wisconsin, sang the national anthem.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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