Two Homers by Rookie Give Yanks a Sweep of Twins
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK (SPORTS) - The Yanks swept a three-game series over the Twins that began the current 10-game home stand with a 4‐3 victory on Wednesday’s matinee. The win was their 6th in the last seven contests and allowed them to retain the top spot in the standings of the American League East.
The game had several similarities to the Yanks win the evening before Wednesday’s win. Starting pitching Nathan Eovaldi retired the first 16 batters he faced. His bid for a no hitter was ended by a single of Chris Hermann with one out in the sixth inning.
Eovaldi departed after yielding three runs in the seventh, but he threw 120 pitches, his season high. Eovaldi did not allow a batter to reach base in any inning except the sixth, when he yielded three runs and four hits.
In the previous game, CC Sabathia retired the first 13 Twins and left the game in the seventh after giving up three runs.
The Yankees, as on Tuesday with A‐Rod’s grand slam homer, took the lead with a two run homer by rookie Greg Bird, his first week with the club. Bird followed a walk to veteran Carlos Beltran in the sixth with the home run to center that scored both.
Two innings earlier, Bird followed Beltran, who singled, with a two run homer, his first in the majors. After the game, Bird credited Beltran, “Hats off to him for a great at bat in front of me.” Bird was the first Yankee to have a two home run game as a rookie since Jesus Montero on September 5, 2012.
The 22-year-old rookie, who came up to the Yankees seven days earlier, has been enjoying the week with his parents who are in New York to see his first games in the majors. He remarked that his parents have always supported him and told him, “Just have fun and play baseball.”
His expressed his feelings about the week to a large group of reporters after Wednesday’s game, “It’s an honor to put on this uniform every day and play in front of these fans.” He said the curtain call he received “was my first ever.”
Girardi spoke with respect of the young man, “He was a huge part of our offense. He had a tremendous afternoon. He’s able to slow the game down.” Bird said his goal as a Yankee is, “I’m just trying to help this team win, nothing more and nothing less.”
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