NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) – The Twins earned a rare victory over the Yankees in their last game, rallying to overcome a dominant outing by CC Sabathia. They’ll send Carl Pavano to the mound as they try to win two straight over New York for the first time in nearly three years.
The Yankees will counter with Freddy Garcia (12-6, 4.64 ERA), who makes his Yankees debut. The former Chicago White Sox pitcher is very familiar with the Twins, having made 22 starts against them and going 10-7 with a 4.04 ERA.
“I’m ready,” Garcia said on Tuesday.
The right-hander made four starts against Minnesota in 2010 and went 1-2 with 5.24 ERA. The last of those was Garcia’s shortest versus the Twins, as he gave up six runs – three homers – in 2 1-3 innings of a 12-6 loss Aug. 10.
“You come (to the Yankees), you have to pitch good,” Garcia said. “If you don’t pitch good, they bring someone else. You have to deserve to be here.”
Mauer is batting .419 (13 for 31) with two home runs off Garcia, while Jason Kubel has gone 7 for 11 with a homer and two doubles against the veteran.
Derek Jeter is 4 for 10 with two doubles against Pavano.
Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira continued his outstanding start Tuesday, hitting a three-run homer in the first inning. He is batting .333 with four home runs and 10 RBIs.
After battling back against the Yankees’ bullpen, the Twins hope Pavano can rebound from a disastrous season debut when they close out their series in the Bronx.
Trailing 4-0 going into the eighth Tuesday, Minnesota (2-3) took advantage of five walks by New York’s relievers in the last three innings and won 5-4 on Joe Mauer’s go-ahead single in the 10th. That broke a four-game skid to New York that included a three-game sweep in last year’s division series, and was just the third victory in the last 21 meetings with the Yankees, including playoffs.
The Twins, who dropped the series opener 4-3 on Monday, have gone 7-31 in their last 38 in the Bronx. They last won two in a row over New York (3-2) on June 1 and 2, 2008. “It’s never easy to play them, no matter where the game is. And even when you get a lead, those guys know how to win,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “Our boys showed a lot of courage. It was a great win.”
Minnesota earned the victory despite being shut down by Sabathia for seven innings, but a bloop three-run double by Denard Span off David Robertson capped a rough eighth for New York’s bullpen – particularly new setup man Rafael Soriano, who walked three in the inning.
“Just one of those nights. It’s going to happen. But I have full confidence that these guys are going to shut the door nine times out of 10, and that’s really the strength of our team,” Sabathia said.
The Twins hope to get a strong outing of their own top starter Wednesday. Pavano didn’t pitch like one in the season opener Friday, however, giving up eight runs and three homers in four innings of a 13-3 loss at Toronto.
The right-hander last faced his former team during Game 2 of the ALDS on Oct. 7, giving up four runs and 10 hits in six innings of 5-2 loss. Pavano has faced New York eight times – four in the regular season and four in the playoffs – and has gone 0-3 with a 3.83 ERA in those games. He’s allowed four homers in his last three starts against them.
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