(Thursday, April 19th)
Final Score: New York 7, Minnesota 6
Bronx, NY (Sports Network) - Curtis Granderson clubbed three home runs in the first four innings, becoming the first Yankee to accomplish the feat since Alex Rodriguez in 2010, as New York held off Minnesota, 7-6.
"It's a thing I've never done. So it's kind of cool," Granderson said. "Definitely a night to remember."
Granderson finished with five hits and four runs batted in, while Mark Teixeira hit a two-run home run in support of Phil Hughes (1-2), who gave up six runs -- just two earned -- on six hits with four strikeouts and two walks over 5 1/3 frames. The Yankees split the four-game set behind 13 hits and Granderson's power show. Mariano Rivera pitched the ninth for his third save.
Ryan Doumit hit a two-run home run as part of a four-RBI night, but Anthony Swarzak (0-3) relinquished an early four-run lead, giving up six runs on eight hits over just 2 2/3 frames in defeat.
"All I want to do is try to give my team a chance to win, and when you give up six runs in the first two innings, that's asking a lot [of your team]," said Swarzak.
Both teams lit up the scoreboard before most fans could find their seats at Yankee Stadium. The Twins flurry was aided by an Eduardo Nunez throwing error, and a walk to Justin Morneau eventually loaded the bases for Doumit, who beat an exaggerated shift by punching a single through the hole vacated by Derek Jeter at shortstop, scoring the game's first two runs. Danny Valencia followed with a long drive that soared over Raul Ibanez's head in left, plating the two remaining runners for a 4-0 lead.
New York immediately punched back courtesy of the long ball. Granderson crushed a pitch into the right-center field seats with one out, then Teixeira drove home Rodriguez with a shot into the same section of the seats for his first home run of the season.
The Yankees used a two-out rally to claim the lead in the second, starting with Nunez's two-out double. Derek Jeter claimed his 3,110th career hit, tying former Yankee Dave Winfield, with a run-scoring opposite-field single to right. He then trotted home when Granderson crushed a down-and-in pitch into the second deck in right for his second home run in as many frames.
Granderson did it again in the fourth, driving a pitch into the right-field seats for his third home run of the game. The three-run edge quickly became one in the sixth as Doumit hammered a two-run homer to right after Morneau walked.
The Yankees bullpen scattered four hits without a walk in 3 2/3 scoreless frames to preserve the win.
In a stat that interests those in the Boston-New York rivalry, Granderson had more total bases in his first three plate appearances (12) than Boston's Kevin Youkilis has all season (11). Granderson also had more home runs in the first four innings than Rodriguez, Teixeira, Albert Pujols and David Ortiz combined this season...The Twins have won just four of their last 15 and nine of their last 36 in the Bronx...Yankees catcher Russell Martin finished hitless in four plate appearances and is now batting .133 on the season. Jeter is hitting .373.
04/20 01:03:22 ET