The Minnesota Twins have never won consecutive home games over the New York Yankees since Target Field opened four years ago.
They'll try to change that while spoiling Derek Jeter's final matchup against them Sunday.
Minnesota (39-47) is 4-15 against New York at Target Field, including a pair of losses in the 2010 division series. The Twins, though, now have a chance at their first home win streak versus the Yankees since a three-gamer in 2008.
They pulled out a 2-1 victory in 11 innings Saturday when New York catcher Francisco Cervelli made a throwing error to first when trying to complete a double play. Josh Willingham scored the winning run after hitting a tying homer in the seventh to help Minnesota snap a seven-game home losing streak to the Yankees.
The Twins had also dropped nine of 11 overall and three in a row at Target Field prior to Saturday's contest.
"We'll take a win any way we can," manager Ron Gardenhire said.
After being denied a third straight win, the Yankees (43-43) will try to get back in the win column in Jeter's farewell to Minnesota. The shortstop is a career .323 hitter against the Twins - including the postseason - but is batting .254 in 14 games at Target Field.
Jeter is three hits shy of becoming the eighth player with 3,400 in his career and will try to reach that milestone while giving Hiroki Kuroda (5-6, 4.08 ERA) some support.
Kuroda gave up two runs over eight innings Tuesday in a 2-1 loss to Tampa Bay. The right-hander has a 3.26 ERA in six starts since the beginning of June, but a 1-3 record while receiving a total of 11 runs of support.
Ricky Nolasco (5-6, 5.49) shouldered more of the blame for a four-start winless stretch that ended with a 10-2 victory against Kansas City on Tuesday. The right-hander had a 6.04 ERA in his four previous games before yielding one run over six innings in a 10-2 win over the Royals.
"Just trying not to do too much. It's a step in the right direction," he said.
Nolasco allowed one run in six innings in his only start against New York on May 30, a 6-1 road victory. Kuroda is 1-1 with a 5.79 ERA in two starts versus Minnesota but earned a 2-0 win last July 12, pitching five innings.
The Yankees might put Brett Gardner back in the lineup after giving him a day off Saturday, but Brian McCann could sit out again due to foot soreness.
"The X-rays came back good, negative, so that's encouraging," manager Joe Girardi said of McCann. "Obviously he may not play again (Sunday). We'll wait to see how he feels.
"It's not what you want, but the long-term aspect I don't think it's a big deal. But short term, he may be out a few days."
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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