(Bump it. Courtesy of Getty Images)
"Good job, Twins! Good effort! Thanks for playing. We'll see you again next week when we need to dish out another season-saving ass whooping."
Seriously, that was a huge series for the Yanks. They were down on the mat being counted out after the sweep in Baltimore and they answered the bell by responding with a 4-game road sweep of the lowly Twins. The offense has woken up in a big way, and they put this game away early yesterday. David Phelps had a nice start, something he really needed, and the Yanks head back home for 10 feeling good about themselves. How's that for a nice 4th of July present?
- The Yanks came out swinging against rookie Kyle Gibson, putting 3 runs on the board in the first 5 batters. 2 doubles from Ichiro and Travis Hafner and 2 singles from Zoilo and Vernon Wells (off a righty) around a Robinson Cano sac fly sandwich and the Yanks were off and running.
- They tacked 2 more on in the 3rd when Wells doubled home a run (off a righty again) and new SS Luis Cruz singled him in to make it 5-0. Much better game for Cruz than his first one on Thursday.
- Minnesota got 1 back on a now rare Justin Morneau HR in the 5th, but Phelps was pretty good through 5. He gave up a few hits here and there, nothing new for him. He also made pitches when he needed to and worked out of trouble well.
- The lineup put the game away in 6th, with more unusual suspects contributing. Cruz doubled to put runners on second and third with no outs and Alberto Gonzalez singled home a run. Ichiro came up with a big 2-run triple and scored on Zoilo Almonte's groundout and it was a 9-1 game.
- Phelps ran out of gas in the 7th and watched as Joba Chamberlain and Boone Logan combined to sully his final line. Those 2 faced 6 batters and let 4 reach base.
- Shawn Kelley and David Robertson had to clean up the 8th and 9th innings and they did it properly, retiring all 6 men they faced in a row and striking out 3.
- Ichiro: 3-5, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 K. Getting a rare day at leadoff with Brett Gardner getting the day off, Ichiro responded by going a homer short of the cycle. Not a bad day's work for a guy who continues to hit just enough to not be useless.
- Wells: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 R, 3 RBI, 1 K, 2 LOB. Big day in the middle of the lineup for the guy least deserving to be there. And 2 run-scoring hits off a right-handed pitcher no less. It's an Independence Day miracle!!
- Cano: 0-4, 1 RBI, 1 K, 2 LOB. So much for the multi-hit game streak. The Yanks should probably just cut him now to avoid the next slump and not have to pay him top dollar next year.
- The Orioles come to New York for a second straight weekend series. This one better not be a repeat of last weekend. Ivan Nova, spot starting for the injured Hirok, goes tonight against Miguel Gonzalez.