Bronx, NY – Mariano Rivera set the all-time saves record as 4 victory over the Twins in a makeup game from a rained out April 6 contest.
"It feels great. I wasn't expecting this but thank God it happened. Thank God its over too," said Rivera. "I cant describe that feeling. It was priceless. I didn't think it could feel like that."
Rivera induced a Trevor Plouffe groundout, a Michael Cuddyer flyout and caught Chris Parmelee looking at a back-door cutter in the ninth to earn the 602nd save of his career, surpassing the mark set by Trevor Hoffman.
"It's a number that I really don't think we'll see someone surpass in our lifetime," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said about the record. "It's hard to fathom, but people came to the stadium today and got a treat."
During his 18-year career from 1993 to 2010, Hoffman pitched for Florida, San Diego, and Milwaukee, but spent 15 1/2 years with the Padres.
"I want to congratulate Mariano Rivera on setting the all-time saves record," Hoffman said in a statement. "It's a great accomplishment and he is still going strong! I have tremendous respect for Mariano not just for his on-field accomplishments, but also for his service to the community."
Rivera's chance for the record was almost spoiled by his own team as New York put runners in scoring position for the final three innings, but each time the Yankees were left stranded.
"He's still one of if not the best closer right now, this day, in all of baseball," Cuddyer said of Rivera.
Cory Wade (6-1) earned the win with 1 2/3 innings of relief after a shaky A.J. Burnett start. Burnett allowed four runs on nine hits through four- plus innings. He walked one and struck out eight.
The Yankees lead the AL East by five games over the Red Sox, who lost the opening game of a doubleheader, 6-5, to the Orioles Monday, but then won the night contest, 18-9.
Scott Diamond (1-5) allowed five runs on 10 hits and three walks in his four- inning start for the loss.
Cuddyer and Parmelee homered for Minnesota, which lost for the ninth straight time.
After Derek Jeter's leadoff single in the first inning, Curtis Granderson hammered a ball over the right-center field wall for an early two-run lead.
Nick Swisher led off the second with a single through the left-side of the infield and Jesus Montero put runners on the corners with a base hit off the wall in right-center. Russell Martin then hit a bouncer that found its way under the glove of Luke Hughes at third, scoring Swisher.
Alex Rodriguez walked with one out in the third and came around to score on Robinson Cano's triple over Ben Revere's head in center field. Cano crossed the plate on Swisher's single up the middle to make it a 5-0 game.
Minnesota got on the board in the fourth on Parmelee's leadoff homer into the right-field bleachers. The Twins loaded the bases with two outs in the inning on singles by Danny Valencia and Brian Dinkelman, and a walk by Rene Rivera. Revere then worked a full count in his at-bat before fanning on a 94 mph fastball to end the threat.
The Yankees left bases loaded in the home half of the fourth, and Cuddyer brought the Twins within two runs in the fifth on his two-run shot to center. Parmelee followed with a double to knock Burnett out of the game.
Wade came on next and walked Valencia before giving up a base hit to Dinkelman, loading the bases. Hughes' groundout to short plated Parmelee, but Joe Benson and Rene Rivera struck out to end the inning and keep it a 5-4 game.
Boone Logan stranded a Twins's runner on second in the sixth, and Rodriguez's two-out, RBI single in the bottom half of the inning increased the Yankees' cushion before Rafael Soriano and David Robertson tossed scoreless innings of relief to set up Mariano Rivera in the ninth.
"When Mo comes into the game there's just something peaceful about that. You just feel that he's going to get it done. You can't say that about many people," said Girardi.
Revere's two stolen bases in the game gave him 32 on the year, surpassing Luis Rivas' rookie record of 31 set in 2001...New York improved its major league- best record in day games to 41-12...Granderson's home run was the 211th of the year for the Yankees, tops in the majors...The Twins committed one error in the game and have now committed 114 errors this season.