Series: Game 1 of 4

NY Yankees leads 1-0 (as of 7/3)

Game 1: Thursday, July 3
NY Yankees7Final
Game 2: Friday, July 4
NY Yankees6Final
Game 3: Saturday, July 5
NY Yankees1Final
in 11
Game 4: Sunday, July 6
NY Yankees9Final

Yankees 7

(42-42, 24-19 away)

Twins 4

(38-46, 20-20 home)

    8:10 PM ET, July 3, 2014

    Target Field, Minneapolis, Minnesota 

    123456789 R H E
    NYY 000040300 7 10 0
    MIN 101001100 4 9 0

    W: M. Tanaka (12-3)

    L: P. Hughes (8-5)

    S: D. Robertson (19)

    Carlos Beltran's 3-run HR helps Masahiro Tanaka win MLB-best 12th

    Associated Press

    MINNEAPOLIS -- Sometimes the game can shift with one swing.

    Carlos Beltran took a big cut, sent a fastball soaring into the seats in right field and snapped the foundering New York Yankees out of their funk.

    Beltran's three-run homer Thursday night lifted Masahiro Tanaka to his majors-leading 12th win and helped the Yankees stop a season-worst five-game losing streak with a 7-4 victory over the Minnesota Twins.

    "We have to find a way to score more runs. There's no doubt about that. We played very poor at home," Beltran said.

    Zelous Wheeler homered in his big-league debut after nearly eight years in the minors. David Robertson notched his 19th save by striking out the side in a hitless ninth inning, and the Yankees started an 11-game road trip with a sigh-of-relief performance that put their record back at the .500 mark.

    "It felt great. I've been waiting for this moment for a long time, and hopefully I can take advantage of it," Wheeler said.

    Phil Hughes (8-5) was rolling along against his former team, leading 2-0 until Beltran cleared the tall wall in right following consecutive singles to start the fifth. Wheeler went deep two batters later.

    "Not knowing much about him, in a 3-1 count, I'm going to challenge him," Hughes said. "He put a good swing on it."

    Wheeler had a big smile on his face afterward.

    "Every time you see a story like that, a guy that's spent a lot of time in the minor leagues and all of a sudden comes to the big leagues and being able to do what he did today, it's just special," Beltran said.

    So was Beltran's big hit, considering the slump the Yankees brought with them on the road.

    "Those are the type of things we need to be successful in the American League," manager Joe Girardi said.

    Tanaka (12-3) allowed a season-high four runs. He finished seven innings with nine hits and no walks while striking out a season-low three.

    "They're not going to be perfect every time. He's been about as consistent as you can be as a starting pitcher. He just wasn't quite as sharp," Girardi said.

    Through his interpreter, Tanaka said this was one of his worst starts of the season. Throwing only 85 pitches, at least, allowed the star Japanese rookie to maintain some freshness for the next turn.

    "Not too much pressure, but I obviously understood where the team was," Tanaka said.

    With Eduardo Escobar on first after an RBI single in the seventh, Tanaka dodged serious trouble. Sam Fuld's screaming line drive went straight to Mark Teixeira, who easily stepped on first base for the double play to preserve the three-run lead.

    Chris Parmelee drove in a run with a double in the first and Kurt Suzuki and Kendrys Morales had RBI groundouts, but the sputtering Twins missed their opportunities to put bigger numbers on the board like the Yankees did against Hughes.

    The Twins have lost eight of 10 and fell a season-worst eight games under .500.

    Wheeler had a single to help spark the three-run rally in the seventh, too, scoring on Brett Gardner's single after a one-out RBI double by Brendan Ryan chased Hughes. Derek Jeter drove in a run with a groundout.

    The Yankees haven't been nearly as potent at the plate as they are paid to be, ranking 12th in runs and 10th in homers in the American League. They totaled one run over Tanaka's last two starts, both losses, but this was the breakout they needed.

    "He's very competitive. He's in control of the game," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.

    Game notes

    Beltran passed Lance Berkman for fourth place on the career list for home runs by switch hitters. With 367, he's behind Mickey Mantle (536), Eddie Murray (504) and Chipper Jones (468). ... Parmelee stretched his hitting streak to 13 games. He's hitting .440 (22 for 50) during the run. ... Yankees assistant GM for pro personnel Billy Eppler interviewed Thursday for San Diego's vacant GM spot. ... The Yankees will send Chase Whitley (3-2, 4.70 ERA) to the mound Friday afternoon for the 10th start of his rookie season, and Kyle Gibson (7-6, 3.77 ERA) will pitch for the Twins. The Yankees are 5-1 in Whitley's six turns on the road. Gibson's 1.54 ERA at home is the best among qualifying AL pitchers.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Game Information

    StadiumTarget Field, Minneapolis, MN
    Attendance34,714 (87.9% full) - % is based on regular season capacity
    Game Time2:36
    Weather75 degrees, partly cloudy
    Wind8 mph
    UmpiresHome Plate - Alan Porter, First Base - Joe West, Second Base - Marty Foster, Third Base - Rob Drake

    Research Notes

    Carlos Beltran's 5th-inning home run was the 367th of his career, snapping a tie with Lance Berkman for 4th-most by a switch hitter in MLB history. Next up - Chipper Jones.
    Let's go next level on Masahiro Tanaka this season... No starting pitcher has been as deadly when ahead in the count than Tanaka... His chase percentage when he is ahead in the count is first in the major leagues at 44.9 percent, almost a whole FOUR PERCENT higher than the second starter, Stephen Strasburg...
    Masahiro Tanaka's 12 wins before the All-Star Break are the most by a Yankees rookie all-time.
    The last time both the Yankees and the Red Sox were under .500 through games on July 2nd? 1992. Both the Red Sox and the Yankees failed to make the postseason in 1992...If you are thinking when was the last time the Yankees and Red Sox both failed to make the postseason in the same season...that was a year later in 1993 (excluding the strike in 1994)...
    With his 5th-inning home run, Yankees rookie Zelous Wheeler became the 8th Yankee ever to homer in his major league debut.
    Carlos Beltran's 5th inning home run was his 1st at Target Field; it's the 38th different ballpark where he has hit a homer.

    ESPN Stats & Information