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(Thursday, July 3)
Final Score: New York 7, Minnesota 4
Minneapolis, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - Masahiro Tanaka wasn't his sharpest, but he did enough to snap his brief two-game skid and the New York Yankees' five- game slide.
Tanaka gave up more than three earned runs for the first time in his career, allowing four over seven innings in the Yankees' 7-4 win over the Minnesota Twins in the opener of a four-game set.
Tanaka (12-3) surrendered nine hits and struck out just three to pick up his MLB-leading 12th win for New York, which got a three-run blast from Carlos Beltran to go with Zelous Wheeler's first major league homer.
"He's about as consistent as he can be," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of Tanaka. "They're not going to be perfect every time."
David Robertson struck out the side in a scoreless ninth to notch his 19th save of the year.
Former Yankee Phil Hughes (8-5) struck out six, but yielded seven runs on eight hits and a walk over 6 1/3 frames for the Twins, who have dropped eight of their last 10 games.
The Twins led 2-0 through four innings before the Yankees surged ahead following a four-run fifth.
Mark Teixeira and Brian McCann singled to begin the frame and Beltran followed with his three-run shot into the seats in right. Wheeler cracked his solo shot two batters later into the Yankees' bullpen.
"They jumped on the first pitches a little more in the fifth," Hughes said.
The Twins got a run back in the sixth before the Yankees padded their lead with three more runs in the seventh.
Kurt Suzuki led off the sixth with a double, moved to third on Chris Parmelee's groundout and scored on a Kendrys Morales groundout to cut the gap to 4-3.
Ichiro Suzuki worked a one-out walk in the seventh, Wheeler singled and Brendan Ryan rolled a double down the third-base line to plate Suzuki. Brian Duensing replaced Hughes on the hill and Brett Gardner greeted him with a base hit up the middle to bring home Wheeler. Ryan scored on Derek Jeter's RBI fielder's choice to extend New York's margin to 7-3.
Eduardo Escobar's RBI single in the home seventh trimmed the deficit to 7-4.
Earlier, Parmelee's one-out RBI double in the opening frame and Kurt Suzuki's run-scoring groundout in the third staked Minnesota to its 2-0 lead.
Beltran's homer was his ninth of the season ... The Yankees went 3-for-4 with runners in scoring position, while the Twins finished 1-for-6 ... Hughes' seven runs allowed are the most he's given up this season.
07/04 01:16:48 ET