Aaron Judge threw a fast one to get Brian Dozier out at home, but Eduardo Escobar’s eighth inning RBI single was the game changer.
Pinch hitting in the eighth inning was Escobar with Joe Mauer on second base and All-Star Miguel Sano on first, Monday at Target Field in Minneapolis. An Escobar single brought Mauer home for the go ahead run and Sano barely made it to third colliding with Yankees third baseman Chase Headley. Eddie Rosario scored Sano with a single to first base, with the ball sliding right under the glove of New York’s infielder Garrett Cooper.
Up 4-2, Twins were in control heading into the final inning. Twins All-Star closer Brandon Kintzler wrapped up the game with his 26th save of the season.
“I went out there trying to get a good hit. [Missed a] curveball…then I got a changeup and got a good hit on it,” Escobar’s translator Carlos Font told Fox Sports North on his behalf.
While rain started to pore near the end of the game, Mauer thanked Kintlzer for wrapping the game up quick.
“It was pretty fun,” Mauer said of the weather. “Kintlzer came in and did a good job, 1-2-3, so we didn’t have to stay out there long.”
This was the seventh time in team history Twins defeated Yankees at Target Field in 26 meetings.
“It also feels good to beat ’em. They had our number in the playoffs a few years ago but it’s a new year,” Mauer told Fox Sports postgame.
Playing a clean defensive game was a must, Twins Manager Paul Molitor said during his postgame interview. He was also impressed with Escobar’s impact as a pinch hitter, acknowledging pinch hitting as a role many players on the team don’t have a lot of experience in.
“He did a nice job with those off speed pitches,” Molitor said of Escobar. “His production has been good. When he doesn’t play he’s a good option to have late in-games like he was today.”
Bartolo Colón will make his Twins debut on the mound against Yankees Tuesday night.
By Gino Terrell