The Yankees moved on to an ALCS date with the Angels Sunday night after defeating the Twins 4–1. The game followed all the patterns of the first two, including the final result: Yankees victory.
The Twins scored first, as they did in each of the first two games. Veteran leftie Andy Pettite was throwing an efficient one-hitter until two outs in the 6th, when he gave up a single to Twins leadoff man Denard Span. A stolen base, walk, and single by league batting champion Joe Mauer put the Twins up by one.
And the Yankees answered quickly, as they also did in each of the first two contests.
Twins starter Carl Pavano was cruising into the top of the 7th until Alex Rodriguez hit a line drive to right for a home run. One out later, Jorge Posada also blasted a home run.
The Twins wasted several scoring opportunities, following their pattern of the first two games.
Delmon Young greeted reliever Joba Chamberlain with a one-out double in the 7th, but the Twins couldn't cash in.
In the bottom of 8th, Nick Punto doubled to lead off. Normally a crafty baserunner, he was thrown out on a rundown between third and home after a short single, and the threat died.
The Yankees scored two insurance runs in the 9th. With one out, the Yankees loaded the bases on three straight walks, from three different Twins pitchers. Posada singled off closer Joe Nathan, scoring one. Robinson Cano singled, scoring another.
Michael Cuddyer led off the bottom of the 9th with a single against Mariano Rivera, but again no runs came out of it.
Big Blows Decisive Every Game
The Twins outhit the Yankees 29–23 in the series, but the Yankees homered twice in each of the three games, while the Twins hit no home runs. The big blows proved decisive.
Alex Rodriguez retired the label of post-season bust by having an outstanding series from the clean-up spot. He batted .455, with two home runs and six RBI’s.
The game turned out to be the last baseball game in the history of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, which opened in 1982. The Twins move to an outdoors stadium next year.
The Yankees face the Los Angeles Angels for the right to go to the World Series. Game 1 will be in the Bronx on Friday.