Published July 02, 2013
| Sports Network
Minneapolis, MN – Zoilo Almonte singled in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning and the New York Yankees beat the Minnesota Twins, 10-4, on a milestone night for Andy Pettitte.
The left-hander got Justin Morneau swinging for the second out of the fifth inning for his 1,958th strikeout in pinstripes. That surpassed the total of Whitey Ford for the most all-time in the franchise.
It was Pettitte's second strikeout of the evening. His first came in the second inning when he fanned Clete Thomas.
The three-time All-Star gave up a leadoff homer to Chris Parmelee in the sixth, which gave the Twins a 4-3 lead. He then left in favor of Shawn Kelley, and the Yankees scored three times in the eighth, thanks in part to Jared Burton's (1-6), wildness in the opener of this four-game series.
Robinson Cano went 3-for-4, smacked a pair of homers, and scored four times for the Yankees, who ended a five-game skid and gave Joe Girardi the 600th victory of his managerial career.
"It's nice, I've been fortunate and had some really good player along the way," Girardi said.
Pettitte gave up six hits and walked four batters along with the two strikeouts.
"He kind of missed his spots early a little bit and he kind of settled down in the middle innings," Girardi said.
Twins starter Scott Diamond departed with the lead after throwing 6 2/3 innings. Ryan Doumit had a two-run single, but the Twins lost for the fifth time in seven games.
Joba Chamberlain (1-0) was credited with the win for tossing a scoreless seventh inning.
Cano doubled to right-center field past a diving Parmelee to start the eighth. Pinch-hitter Ichiro Suzuki then put down a bunt single when Burton's off- balance throw pulled Justin Morneau off first base.
Burton then tried holding on Suzuki, but his pickoff throw caromed into the outfield and Cano came home. One out later, Almonte, who went 3-for-5, grounded a hit into left field for a 5-4 edge.
"Burton just had a rough time," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He basically threw two times on his own and launched it. He got flabbergasted there for a moment. It just went from there. It was an ugly end to a good ball game."
Brian Duensing entered from the bullpen, but couldn't stop the avalanche of runs. He walked Lyle Overbay then uncorked a wild pitch before Chris Stewart's groundout to third plated Almonte, who was off on contact.
The Yankees, who were swept in Baltimore over the weekend, tacked on four runs in the ninth, two coming on singles from Travis Hafner and Almonte, another on a Josh Roenicke bases-loaded walk to Stewart. The final run came home on a passed ball from Doumit.
"It was a great game for the team. We needed a win. The bullpen was awesome," Pettitte said.
Cano homered to center with two outs in the first inning, but the Twins scored three times in the bottom half courtesy of Doumit's single to left-center and Oswaldo Arcia's RBI infield hit when Pettitte fell down and threw from his knees wildly to first.
Pettitte threw 42 pitches in the first inning.
Cano tied the game with a two-run blast to left in the third.
Twins outfielder Josh Willingham sat out due to a sore left knee ... It's the most runs for the Yankees since they had 11 on May 10 at Kansas City ... New York has won 11 of its last 12 games against AL Central teams ... The Yankees have cleared third baseman Alex Rodriguez to begin a rehab assignment that could have the three- time American League MVP back in the team's lineup shortly after the All-Star break. The Yankees announced Monday that Rodriguez, who has yet to play this season while recovering from surgery performed in January to repair a torn labrum in his left hip, will join the organization's Single-A affiliate in Charleston, SC and play a minimum of three innings at third base in Tuesday's game against Rome.