MINNEAPOLIS — A shaky performance from Jameson Taillon and a season-high three defensive errors against a first-place team didn’t slow the Yankees as Aaron Judge and the Bronx’s demolition machine arrived at Target Field Tuesday and did pretty much what they did against a Twins- team seemingly unable to beat them.
Judge started with a two-run shot in the first and Anthony Rizzo finished the Twins with a three-run homer in the seventh as the Yankees won their seventh straight with a 10-4 win.
“Today was no indication of who we are,” said Josh Donaldson. “We played a bit sloppy. But we have a deep team. … We don’t want to keep playing like this, but it’s nice to cheer each other on.”
With the win, the Yankees improved to 40-15 for the sixth-best start in franchise history.
The Twins, who are ranked first in the AL Central, held out for a while as Taillon allowed four runs in more than four innings.
Though rotation has carried the Yankees for most of the season, the bullpen was strong on Tuesday as Lucas Luetge and Wandy Peralta delivered three vital scoreless innings to relief, with Luetge retiring three straight with Max Kepler at second base after Taillon in who had gone fifth. Ron Marinaccio kept the Twins scoreless for the last two frames.
Judge put the Yankees ahead with a two-barrel shot into the top of the first as his destruction of American League pitching shows no signs of slowing.
He followed DJ LeMahieu’s leadoff single with a mammoth punch down the middle for his MLB-high 22nd home run.
After Rizzo struck, Giancarlo Stanton sent a blast 445 feet down the second deck at left center to give the Yankees a 3-0 lead.
It was Stanton’s 12th homer of the season and his first since coming out of the IL.
The Twins got a run back from Taillon at the end of the inning.
Byron Buxton doubled with an out and went for third with a single to the right of Jorge Polanco. Kepler’s sacrificial fly scored Buxton to make it 3-1.
With an on and two outs in the bottom third, the Twins were closing in when Polanco drilled a 0-2 four-seam fastball into the right-center gap to drive in Luis Arraez from the start and cut the Yankees’ lead a through .
The judge knocked out another run in the fourth. Joey Gallo singled and LeMahieu walked to start the inning before Judge singled to the left.
Taillon’s troubles continued when ex-Yankee Gio Urshela got an infield hit with an out in the fourth. He moved up to second with Donaldson’s erroneous throw to go first in the game. A Gilberto Celestino single to the left put runners in the corners, and Jermaine Palacio’s sacrificial fly put Minnesota back on a run.
A single from Aaron Hicks and a walk from Jose Trevino gave the Yankees two leads and two outs in fifth place, and the runners moved up to second and third on a wild throw from Juan Minaya. Gallo left to load the bases for LeMahieu.
LeMahieu, who reached base five times and his 1,500. Achieving career success, walked to bring in Hicks – who had a pair of singles and two walks.
However, Polanco continued to hit Taillon hard and led on a 1-2 pitch with a long homer to the right late in the inning. A single from Kepler ended Taillon’s no-outs outing in the fifth.
Luetge retired the next three batters to keep the Yankees ahead.
“The offensive went on all the time,” Donaldson said. “We kept on piling on what was important when it looked like this game [could turn on] a swing. Rizzo took advantage of that.”
The first baseman smashed a two-out, three-run homer by Tyler Duffey in the seventh to give the Yankees some safety, and the bottom of the lineup added in the eighth as Trevino and Gallo added RBI singles.
Everyone in the Yankees’ lineup had a hit in the 14-hit barrage.
“We’ve said all year that we win in many different ways and tonight was just another,” Taillon said. “I didn’t do my job, but the offense did its job.”