Yanks aim to continue Minnesota mastery
(SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Yankees can always count on putting a slump to rest when they visit the Minnesota Twins.
The Yankees will try to continue their success in the Twins' home ballpark on Friday afternoon in the second contest of a four-game series at Target Field.
New York came to town riding a five-game losing streak, but broke out for a 7-4 victory despite Masahiro Tanaka failing to log a quality start for the first time this season.
Tanaka gave up a season-high four runs over seven innings, but still won his MLB-leading 12th game of the season.
"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."
Carlos Beltran connected on a three-run homer and Zelous Wheeler went deep in his MLB debut for the Yankees, who are 28-11 versus the Twins since 2009 and have won 12 of their 15 regular-season games at Target Field since it opened in 2010.
Minnesota did take two of three in the Bronx back on May 30-June 1, but former Yankee Phil Hughes gave up seven runs over 6 1/3 innings in last night's loss, the Twins' eighth in 10 games overall.
"They jumped on the first pitches a little more in the fifth," Hughes said of New York's four-run frame.
Kyle Gibson will try to draw the Twins even in this set and is 7-6 on the year with a 3.77 earned run average.
Gibson was slammed for seven runs over just two innings in a setback to the Los Angeles Angels on June 24, but rebounded on Sunday to defeat Texas. The righty scattered two runs over eight innings to move back over .500.
Gibson did not face the Yankees in New York earlier this season and the 26- year-old has split two previous encounters but with an 8.71 ERA.
Chase Whitley gets the call for New York having struggled in consecutive losses since winning three starts in a row.
Over his current skid, the right-handed Whitley has allowed 13 runs, 19 hits and five walks over 7 1/3 frames versus Toronto and Boston, falling to 3-2 with a 4.70 ERA on the year.
The 25-year-old faced the Twins on June 1 and did not get a decision, yielding a run and striking out six over five innings.
07/04 10:30:24 ET