Twins shutout by Yanks' 2-0
BRONX, N.Y. (Sports Network) - Hiroki Kuroda combined with four relievers on an eight-hit shutout as the New York Yankees dealt the free-falling Minnesota Twins a 2-0 defeat in the opener of a three-game series.
The Yankees had to overcome another injury to captain Derek Jeter as well as a 73-minute rain delay to register their ninth victory in 12 July games, with Brett Gardner and Robinson Cano delivering RBI singles in the fifth inning in addition to the club's strong pitching effort.
Kuroda (8-6) worked around six hits and a pair of walks while operating the first five innings, Boone Logan got out of a jam in the seventh and Mariano Rivera tossed a 1-2-3 ninth to nail down his 30th save of the season.
The Yankees announced before the game that Jeter, who returned Thursday from a nine-month layoff caused by a fractured ankle, will be held out until after the upcoming All-Star break because of a strained quadriceps he sustained in Thursday's win over Kansas City.
Minnesota has now dropped six in a row and 12 of its last 13 contests after struggling mightily in the clutch on Friday. The Twins went 0-for-12 with runners and scoring position and left 10 men on base.
Scott Diamond threw 3 1/3 scoreless frames for Minnesota prior to the weather stoppage, with Ryan Pressly (2-2) hung with the loss after being charged with allowing both Yankee runs in a one-inning stint in relief.
Pressly replaced Diamond when play resumed in the bottom of the fourth inning and recorded two quick outs, but surrendered a leadoff single to Luis Cruz with the game still scoreless in the Yankees' half of the fifth. After a sacrifice bunt from Chris Stewart moved Cruz into scoring range, Gardner shot a ground ball through the left side of the infield to bring him home while taking second on the throw to the plate.
Two batters later, Cano smacked Brian Duensing's two-out pitch up the middle to score Gardner from third for a 2-0 New York edge.