By Kevin Cusmano
Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann led the way as the Yankees offense finally broke out Monday night, scoring eight runs in an 8-7, 10-inning win over the Minnesota Twins. McCann hit a three-run home run and added a two-run single, while Beltran hit a game-tying, two-run home run.
Yankees starter Bryan Mitchell was struck by a line drive in the face off the bat of Eduardo Nunez in the second inning. Luckily, the latest report was Mitchell was released from the hospital after suffering a nasal fracture and will be monitored for concussion like symptoms.
The Yankees were leading 3-1 when he left the game. The Yankees bullpen was rested coming into the game, and manager Joe Girardi had to use the entire pen in this game.
Beltran had the big hit against Minnesota, with his two-run shot coming with the Yankees trailing 7-5 in the sixth inning, his 13th on the year.
The Yankees brought in closer Andrew Miller in the 10th inning and he set the Twins down 1-2-3. In the bottom half, Yankees rookie Greg Bird led off with a booming double. McCann followed with a double of his own, but Bird only advanced to third, waiting to tag up in case the ball was caught, the right decision in this case. The Twins intentionally walked Beltran to fill the bases.
Chase Headley then came up with the chance to win it for the Yankees, and with a little help from Nunez, he did exactly that. Twins closer Glen Perkins, who I have no idea why he was pitching in a tie game on the road, got Headley to hit a ground ball to short, but Nunez couldn't handle it cleanly, allowing pinch runner Brandon Ryan to score the winner.
The Yankees have now won four of five games and still sit atop the American League East, with a one game lead over the Toronto Blue Jays.