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Jeter jump-starts Yanks, Rivera stops Twins twice

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Nick Swisher homered in the top of the ninth inning, allowing Mariano Rivera to record his second save in less than four hours for the New York Yankees in 1-0 and 3-2 victories over the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday.

Swisher hit his solo shot off Twins closer Jon Rauch (1-1), the third two-out run scored by the Yankees in the second game.

Derek Jeter homered and made a highlight-reel play at shortstop in the sixth inning of the first game, which was completed after being halted by rain the night before.

Rivera pitched the ninth inning for the save in the first game, making up for his only blown chance of the season 10 days ago at Yankee Stadium against the Twins.

Andy Pettitte (6-1) went eight innings in the second game.

The Yankees and Twins had to push pause on Tuesday after a thunderstorm forced an 83-minute delay and then suspension of a scoreless game after the fifth. Jeter got things going in the top of the sixth, driving a 1-1 changeup from Brian Duensing (2-1) an estimated 414 feet into the hard-to-reach bullpen area behind left-center field.

Then in the bottom of the inning, after David Robertson walked Justin Morneau and gave up a two-out double to Jason Kubel, Jeter saved at least one run — if not two — by going to his right and back-handing a grounder hit by Delmon Young.

"It's not that that play is a given," Jeter said. "I think a lot of people think that's an easy play to make."

Jeter used a crow hop to make yet another perfect jump throw to first base for the inning-ending out.

"He's made that as well as anyone I've ever seen," Girardi said.

Said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire: "That's why he's been the captain over there for a long time."

The regularly scheduled matchup began about a half-hour after completion of the pitching duel started by A.J. Burnett and Scott Baker the previous night and picked up by the bullpens for both teams in the late-afternoon sun.

Joe Mauer gave Minnesota the lead with a first-inning single after Denard Span doubled and stole third base, but Kevin Russo's two-out double on a full-count slider tied the game in the fourth.

Brett Gardner's two-out triple drove in Russo for the sixth-inning lead, before the Twins tied it again on Delmon Young's double in the seventh. Pettitte might have saved himself the victory when he jumped for J.J. Hardy's high hopper over the mound and whirled around to catch Young stranded too far off second.

Drew Butera began the eighth with a double, his first career extra-base hit, and Span's bunt was fielded cleanly by Alex Rodriguez. But when the charging third baseman tried to flip the ball to his throwing hand, it went into foul territory for an error.

Pettitte made another superb defensive play by stabbing Orlando Hudson's line drive for the first out, then got Mauer to ground into a double play. Jeter had shifted to his left, in perfect position to field the ball hit hard and just to the left of second base.

Just like Minnesota's Francisco Liriano, Pettitte bounced back from a rough start — when he gave up nine hits and seven runs in five innings in a loss to division-leading Tampa Bay. Pettitte gave up eight hits and two runs while striking out four.

Manager Joe Girardi used a little gamesmanship, talking to Pettitte on the mound at the start of the ninth while Rivera warmed up, then made the change before Pettitte threw a pitch in the final frame.

Liriano was back in his pitcher-of-the-month form from April. After going 4-0 in his first five starts and then 0-3 in his previous three, allowing 13 runs in 16 2-3 innings, the left-hander finished seven innings with seven strikeouts.

Burnett (5-2) got a needed victory in the first game. The Yankees had lost six of their previous eight games before this series.

"He owes me, I guess," Jeter said.

NOTES: Former New York City mayor and presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani took in the games from a seat behind the plate. He and Twins manager Gardenhire were two of the featured guests at a motivational business seminar held across the street at a packed Target Center arena.