MINNEAPOLIS – When Target Field was opened almost a second ago, Twins players locked it was hard to hit a ballpark.
Monday night the ball slammed to stay in the Yankees and Twins, teams built on the home run, slammed it out in the first of three games between the AL East and Central leaders.
Edwin Encarnacion's ground ball to third into three outs with the help of a first-inning triple play
Yankees set the all-time major league home run record with 267 and this year's twins are on pace to shatter that. Mitch Garver clubbed two and Jorge Polanco, Nelson Cruz and Max Kepler had one each.
The 64-35 Yankees dropped a second straight game but it wasn ' t because they did not hit. Gior Urshela, Luke Voit and DJ LeMahieu homered and Mike Tauchman went 3-for-4, scored twice and drove in a run.
CC Sabathia did not make it past the fourth inning in his shortest outing of the year. He gave seven runs (six earned) and six hits (a season-high four homers). Sabathia entered the game with a 2-0 record and a 3.24 ERA in the previous four starts (three Yankees victories) but fell to 5-5. In a dozen starts against the Twins as a Yankees, Sabathia was 8-1
"It's really important," Boone said of the series.
The Yankees ground to the second-place Rays in the AL East because they were beaten by the Red Sox and remaining nine lengths behind. The Yankees were 21-10 at Target Field but had the last two series at the park that opened in 2010.
Luis Cessa replaced Sabathia to start the fifth inning with the Yankees trailing, 7-5. On several levels Sabathia's 16th start was the worst of his final season.
The four innings were his shortest stint, the seven runs were a season-high as were the four homers he allowed.
The long ball barrage continued in the fifth when Dive with a single and LeMahieu followed with a towering homer to the reduced the Twins' lead to 7-5. It was LeMahieu's 15th homer of the season and tied up for the infielder.
When Twins starter Martin Perez, Aaron Judge for the third time he was replaced by Tyler Duffey who walked away from Gary Sanchez's elongated slump continued
Aaron Hicks 'grounder to the right side forced Encarnacion at second and Luke Voit whiffed to beach two.
Kepler led off the fourth with his 25th homer and upped the Twins' lead to 6-3. That went to 7-3 Mitch Garver's 19th homer just made it over the left-field wall. In 15 starts this year Sabathia's season-high in homers was three and that was in one game. In 3 2/3 innings he allowed four.
Voit's opposite-field homer to right field with one out in the fourth shaved the Twins' lead to 5-3. It was Voit's 19th of the season.
Luis Arraez, Garver's grounder to third baseman Urshela: The Twins get the basics in the third with a four-pitch walk
Cruz reached on catcher's interference when his bat struck Sanchez's glove hand and forced in a run. Eddie Rosario's grounder to the right side in a force out at second and Garver scoring. Polanco for a 5-2 Twins lead.
After the first-inning triple play allowed Perez to escape a first-inning jam he struck out.
The third frame did not go so well for the left-hander who gave a solo homer with one out to urshela that cut the twins' lead to 2-1. Tauchman singled to center and scampered to third on LeMahieu's opposite-field double into the right-field corner. Judge battled out of a 0-2 to get a full-count walk that loaded the bases for Encarnacion and his bloop single scored to scuba diver and tied the score, 2-2. Sanchez extends a slump to 10-for-77 by banging into a 5-3 inning-ending double play.
Sabathia spent visiting youngsters with the Twins 'Michael Pineda and Cruz behind the Yankees' dugout.
A few seconds later Cruz hats consecutive homers off Sabathia in the home first.
Polanco drove a 0-1 pitch into the left-field seats with one out and cruz followed by hitting a 2-2 offering into the bullpen area in the left-center field.
Coming after Encarnacion hit into a Yankees.