MINNEAPOLIS — Anthony Rizzo hit a three-run home run in the seventh inning to crack open a close game for the New York Yankees, who brushed off a rare bad start by Jameson Taillon to beat the Minnesota Twins 10-4 on Tuesday night for their seventh straight victory.
Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton got the visitors going with first-inning homers, the 23rd time they've gone deep in the same game in five seasons together. The Yankees have only lost once when that happens, in the Field of Dreams game in Iowa last Aug. 12.
The Yankees (40-15) lead the major leagues with the best 55-game record in baseball since Seattle in 2001. That's actually a lower winning percentage than the astounding 110-38 record the Yankees have built, including the playoffs, against the Twins since 2002. They are 32-12 all-time at Target Field, which the Twins opened in 2010.
Taillon, who took a perfect game through seven innings in his last start, was pulled with no outs in the fifth. The Twins knocked him around for nine hits and four runs, both season highs for the right-hander. Jorge Polanco went 4 for 4 with two RBIs, including a homer off Taillon that was the first allowed by a Yankees pitcher in six games. Lucas Luetge (2-2) pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings for the awarded victory in relief.
The starting pitching has been so dominant for New York this year that the staff has almost overshadowed a loaded lineup that leads the majors in homers and is second in OPS.
Minnesota had nowhere to hide rookie Cole Sands.
The Yankees pounded Sands (0-2), a rotation fill-in with seven starting pitchers currently out with either injuries or COVID-19, for eight of their 14 hits over the right-hander's 3 2/3 innings. Every starter had at least one, including three by DJ LeMahieu. He also walked twice, once with the bases loaded to force in a run in the fifth.
LeMahieu singled on the first pitch of the game. Judge followed by crushing a 2-2 fastball into the wall of junipers that serves as the batter's eye behind center field, and he drove in a run with a single in the fourth to raise his team-leading RBI total to 43. That's second in the American League behind Cleveland's José Ramírez.
Rizzo hit his 14th homer of the season off Tyler Duffey, who gave up a three-run shot for his second straight outing for the Twins. Judge leads the Yankees with 22 home runs.
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