NEW YORK — The Twins and Yankees met six times this season with New York taking two of three in May at Yankee Stadium and two of three in July at Target Field in a series that had a playoff atmosphere. Here’s a review of those games as the clubs prepare to begin the American League Division Series on Friday night.
MAY 3: YANKEES 6, TWINS 3
Gary Sanchez homered twice and the Yankees won despite having starter James Paxton leave because of soreness in his left knee after only three innings. Nelson Cruz hit a two-run homer for the Twins in the eighth inning but it wasn’t enough as Minnesota fell to 14-51 in the Bronx since 2002, including playoffs. Paxton will start Game 1 of the ALDS for the Yankees on Friday night.
MAY 4: TWINS 7, YANKEES 3
Jake Odorizzi gave up no runs and two hits over six innings, and Mitch Garver, C.J. Cron and Cruz homered as the Twins ended their nine-game losing streak at Yankee Stadium.
MAY 5: YANKEES 4, TWINS 1
The Twins had entered the series with the best record in the Major Leagues but Mike Tauchman hit a two-run homer to help lift the Yankees in a game called in the bottom of the eighth inning because of rain. Domingo German was the winning pitcher and Michael Pineda, a former Yankee, took the loss. German and Pineda both won’t take part in the ALDS. German has been placed on administrative leave through the end of the World Series under the joint Major League Baseball and MLB Players’ Association domestic violence policy. Pineda is serving a PED-related suspension.
JULY 22: TWINS 8, YANKEES 6
Mitch Garver hit two of the Twins’ five home runs and Minnesota turned a triple play in the top of the first inning. Jorge Polanco, Nelson Cruz and Max Kepler also homered, and all but Garver’s second solo shot came off starter CC Sabathia. Sabathia only went four innings. He is not on the Yankees’ postseason roster. Twins starter Martin Perez also struggled — nine of the last 13 batters he faced reach base — and he did not get an out in the fifth before departing. But Perez got out of the first inning by getting Edwin Encarnacion to hit into a 5-4-3 triple play.
JULY 23: YANKEES 14, TWINS 12, 10 INNINGS
Former Twin Aaron Hicks made a diving catch for the final out in the 10th inning in a game that had five lead changes or ties in the final three innings. Didi Gregorius had five hits and seven RBIs for New York. Hicks’ outstanding catch came with the bases loaded as Max Kepler drove a Chad Green pitch into the left-center field gap, ending a game that lasted 5 hours, 3 minutes. Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman got the win after blowing his third save in six appearances and his sixth of the season in the ninth inning. This was only the second major league games in the past 40 years to have blown leads in the top of the eighth, bottom of the eighth, top of the ninth and bottom of the ninth, according to STATS research. The other was a Colorado-Oakland meeting on July 17, 2000.
JULY 24: YANKEES 10, TWINS 7
Didi Gregorius drove in three runs and had two of the Yankees’ nine extra-base hits as Aaron Hicks, Gleyber Torres and Edwin Encarnacion hit solo home runs for New York. New York had 48 hits in the series, including 24 for extra bases. Twins starter Jake Odorizzi had a rough outing, giving up nine runs and 10 hits with two walks in four innings. The positive was Devin Smeltzer gave up one run, five hits and struck out four in five effective innings of relief.