Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire is realistic. Taking two out of three from the Yankees for their first series win in New York in more than a decade is not going wipe out the Twins’ horrid first half.
It sure feels good, though.
Aaron Hicks hit a three-run homer a pitch after shortstop Eduardo Nunez made a two-out throwing error, and Minnesota took advantage of some Yankees miscues and misfortune to beat CC Sabathia for the first time in six years, 10-4, Sunday.
“You still have to live with the way we played in the first half, and our record is not very good,” Gardenhire said, quickly adding: “Guys are smiling, and that’s what we want to see.”
Justin Morneau had three hits — two very well placed — as Minnesota won a series at Yankee Stadium for the first time since taking a set at the old ballpark in 2001. Still, the Twins are 9-31 here starting a year later.
They’d had even less success against Sabathia (9-8), going 0-11 in 12 games including the postseason after beating him on July 29, 2007.
“Things went our way, and that hasn’t happened here in a long time,” Gardenhire said.
The Yankees made two errors that led to five unearned runs. They also hit into four double plays — two on baserunning blunders by Zoilo Almonte — in making it plenty easy for the Twins in the teams’ final game before the All-Star break.
The fans let New York know their displeasure, booing relentlessly after the Yankees fell behind, 8-1, in the fourth.
Rookie Kyle Gibson (2-2) benefited from the sloppy play to earn his second win in four career starts. He pitched five-plus shaky innings, yielding three runs — two earned — on five hits and four walks.
Minnesota improved to 3-7 on a 10-game road trip and is 39-53 overall.
“It’s been a terrible road trip,” Ryan Doumit said. “It’s nice to win two out of three going into the break, give us a little bit of a momentum, especially two out of three against the Yankees at their place is big for us.”
After the game, Gardenhire said the team is making three moves, sending outfielders Oswaldo Arcia and Chris Parmelee and infielder Eduardo Escobar to Triple-A Rochester.
“They need to go swing, all of them do,” said Gardenhire, who emphasized all three are part of the club’s future.
To take their spots, the Twins will purchase the contract of infielder Doug Bernier and recall catcher Chris Herrmann from Rochester. A third move will be made sometime before Friday’s game against Cleveland.
New York goes into the break 51-44, good for fourth place in the AL East.
“I think we just need to be more consistent, we got to stay out of stretches where we don’t score runs,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “We have to be more consistent offensively, and if we do that, we’re going to have a shot.”
Sabathia gave up a season-high eight runs — three earned — and matched his low of four innings this year.