NEW YORK—The Minnesota Twins struck first against the Yankees, while still high on adrenaline after a dramatic 12-inning victory Tuesday night over the Detroit Tigers but the Yankees answered back in a typical Yankee display of home run power.
The Twins scored two in the third inning against starter CC Sabathia, but the Yankees answered with two of their own on a Derek Jeter homer in the bottom of the inning to quickly tie the first post-season game in the new Yankee Stadium.
Jeter led by example with the long ball. In fact, the Yankees led the majors in homers with 244.
After that, it was all Yankees power against the AL Central Division champs. The final 7–2 included RBIs on Hideki Matsui’s two-run homer, a Nick Swisher double, and two separate singles by Alex Rodriguez. Jeter was the star of the game, going 2-for-2 with two walks, and three runs scored.
Rodriguez had a productive post-season game with two RBIs and one run scored.
Closer Mariano Rivera was brought in for some work in the ninth, but made things interesting by giving up a two-out walk followed by a single, before finally ending it.
The Twins actually outhit the Yankees 10–9, but wasted several scoring opportunities. The bats seemed a little slow less than 24 hours hours after the thrilling division-clinching victory against the Tigers.
The two teams take Thursday off, with Game 2 in Yankee Stadium Friday at 6:00 p.m. EDT.