Yankees back in the Bronx to host Twins

( - Vidal Nuno takes the hill for the New York Yankees on Friday when they return home to face the Minnesota Twins in the first of a three-game series at Yankee Stadium.

New York just completed a 5-4 road trip that culminated with it winning four of the last five contests. The Yankees claimed a series win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday, as Jacoby Ellsbury singled three times and knocked in three runs in a 7-4 win.

"We had some big nights from a lot of guys," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "Everyone contributed up and down the line."

That was plenty of offense to support Hiroki Kuroda (4-3), who allowed nine hits and gave up three runs in 5 2/3 innings to continue a pretty remarkable string of starting pitching for the Yanks.

No Yankees starter has given up more than three runs in 14 straight contests. Lefty Nuno will try to add to that stretch on Friday, as he tries for his first-ever win in the Bronx.

Nuno is 1-1 on the year and did not get a decision on Saturday in Chicago, as the White Sox reached him for three runs and nine hits in seven innings. He has pitched to a 5.49 ERA this season.

In seven games (5 starts) at Yankee Stadium over his brief career, Nuno is 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA.

Minnesota, meanwhile, will counter with righty Ricky Nolasco, who has lost his last three decisions and is winless since beating the Tampa Bay Rays back on April 24. Nolasco dropped his second straight start on Sunday in San Francisco, as he was hammered to the tune of seven runs and nine hits in 4 2/3 innings, dropping him to 2-5 to go along with a 6.12 ERA.

"Hopefully, just a fortune change," Nolasco said regarding his recent bad luck. "Been hoping for a little while now. Not much I can do. Just concentrate on going out there on the fifth day and try to make the best pitches I can and give the team a chance to win. That's all I can try and do."

Nolasco has never faced the Yankees.

Minnesota has struggled of late and enters this series having dropped six of its last seven games after 5-4 loss to Texas on Thursday.

"We're in these ballgames. We just have to figure out how to win them," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.

The Yankees, who tonight begin a stretch of 43 games in 45 days leading up to the All-Star break, were 5-2 last season versus the Twins.