NY Yankees 7, Minnesota 6
When: 2:10 PM ET, Saturday, June 18, 2016
Where: Target Field, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Quinn Wolcott, 1B -
Paul Emmel, 2B -
Pat Hoberg, 3B -
MINNEAPOLIS -- For six innings on Saturday, the New York Yankees' offense could get nothing going against Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco.
But New York's veteran bats woke up in the seventh and the Yankees scored all of their runs over the final three innings before holding on late in a 7-6 win at Target Field.
The Twins built a 4-0 lead off Yankees starter Michael Pineda before watching their advantage evaporate on two swings of the bat.
Alex Rodriguez hit a two-run home run in the seventh inning and Carlos Beltran added a two-run blast in the eighth to tie the game 4-4 before the Yankees tacked on three runs in the ninth.
"That was a huge two-run homer right there," Beltran said of Rodriguez's blast. "At that point, we're down four and all of the sudden, Alex hits that ball and we narrow the gap. Alex is a guy that can change the game with one swing of the bat."
Beltran's homer capped a three-hit game by from the veteran outfielder, who has been red-hot since the beginning of the month.
Beltran is hitting .364 in 15 games since June 1, with six homers and 17 RBIs. His 18 home runs and 48 RBIs this season both lead the Yankees.
"What I'm trying to do is just be consistent and put together good at-bats," Beltran said. "Right now, it seems like I'm getting good results.
"When you play 162 games, you gotta be aware that you're gonna have good times and not such good times. You have to grind, you have to make sure you don't give away at-bats. Basically that's the whole mentality right now."
The late explosion spoiled a solid start from Nolasco, who allowed two runs on eight hits and a walk, striking out five over seven innings, but was handed a no-decision after his bullpen couldn't hold the lead.
"It was one of those days where I knew it was going to be really important to locate and try to keep them off balance," Nolasco said. "It worked out."
The home runs by Rodriguez and Beltran evened the game into the ninth and the Yankees loaded the bases with nobody out against Twins reliever Fernando Abad.
Right-hander Ryan Pressly entered and got pinch hitter Starlin Castro to strike out swinging for the first out before Jacoby Ellsbury ripped a 96-mph fastball to right past a drawn in infield to score two runs and give the Yankees a 6-4 lead.
Brett Gardner added a sacrifice fly to left field to give closer Chapman a three-run cushion.
Chapman needed all the help he got. The flame-throwing left-hander surrendered back-to-back two-out homers to Eduardo Escobar and Kurt Suzuki, but got pinch hitter Trevor Plouffe to ground out to second to end the game, securing his 13th save.
Yankees reliever Andrew Miller (4-0) got the win, pitching an inning of scoreless relief. Abad (1-1) was charged with the loss after allowing three runs on one hit and two walks in one-third of an inning.
"It was really difficult (to see it slip away)," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "Ricky pitched outstanding. They found a way."
Pineda didn't figure into the final decision, but struck out nine and walked nine, allowing four runs -- three earned -- in 5 1/3 innings.
"I thought his stuff was really good," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "The big mistake he made was to Park. He left a fastball up. The breaking ball that gave up the double (to Max Kepler in the second), he didn't get that where he wanted to and that led to the first run, but I thought his stuff was really good today."
Escobar got the Twins on the board with an RBI single in the second inning to give Minnesota a 1-0 lead.
Park hit a two-run blast in the fourth to give the Twins a 3-0 edge. For Park, who leads American League rookies with 12 home runs, it was only his second homer with men on base.
The Twins added an unearned run in the sixth on Park's sacrifice fly to center before New York's late offensive surge.
NOTES: Yankees 2B Starlin Castro got the day off after batting .214 in his last 33 games. ... Twins LHP Pat Dean was optioned to Triple-A Rochester following the game on Friday. Dean was 1-3 with a 5.54 ERA in eight games, including six starts. ... Twins LHP Tommy Milone was selected from Rochester. Milone was 0-1 with a 5.79 ERA in five games, including four starts, with the Twins earlier this season. He was 4-0 with a 1.66 ERA in 48 2/3 innings with Rochester. ... New York and Minnesota will conclude their four-game series on Sunday at Target Field. The Yankees will send right-hander Nathan Eovaldi (6-3, 4.90 ERA) to the mound against Twins right-hander Ervin Santana (1-7, 5.10 ERA).
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