MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Brian McCann did his part to help the New York Yankees accomplish something they haven’t done in nearly 70 years: sweep a four-game series for the third straight time.
McCann had two home runs among his three hits, but New York lost 7-4 to Minnesota on Sunday.
If the Yankees would have won, it would have marked the first time since 1947 they swept three consecutive series of at least four games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. New York won four straight in Oakland from May 19-22 and at home against the Los Angeles Angels on June 6-9.
As it is, they’ll return home somewhat upbeat after a 3-3 road trip that began with two losses in Colorado.
“It’s not what you want. But after losing the first two, if you can end up 3-3 you feel pretty decent about that,” said manager Joe Girardi, whose team is one game below .500. “Hopefully we can take advantage of nine games at home.”
What they couldn’t do Sunday was continue the struggles of Minnesota starter Ervin Santana.
Santana (2-7) looked nothing like the pitcher that was 0-5 with a 7.71 ERA in his last five starts, keeping the ball down and scattering six hits in 7 1/3 innings. He struck out four and did not walk anyone for a career-best third straight game. New York did not send more than four men to the plate in any of Santana’s seven full innings.
Aided by two Minnesota errors, the Yankees scored once in the eighth to make it 6-3 before Brandon Kintzler struck out Alex Rodriguez with runners at the corners.
New York starter Nathan Eovaldi (6-4) had a six-game winning streak and nine-game unbeaten streak snapped in 13-10 loss Tuesday in Colorado, allowing six earned runs and eight hits in four innings. He bounced back beautifully early.
After a pair of first-inning walks, the right-hander retired 11 of 12 batters before Max Kepler led off the fifth with a homer to get the Twins within 2-1.
One inning later, Brian Dozier and Trevor Plouffe singled to begin a stretch of five straight Minnesota hits. Both scored on Eduardo Escobar’s broken-bat triple with the ball just getting over a leaping Ike Davis at first base and slowly rolling down the line. Plouffe was initially ruled out at home on the throw from right-fielder Carlos Beltran, but video replay showed he scored just before McCann tagged him.
Reliever Dellin Betances was met with an RBI single by Kepler, who then stole his first career base and scored on a double by Kurt Suzuki.
“Bad luck, to me,” Girardi said. “Two jam shots, a little seeing-eye ground ball. I think they hit one ball hard in that inning: that was the ball Suzuki hit. That’s baseball, and they got four runs. I thought his stuff was better today.”
McCann snapped an 0-for-15 slide with a second-inning home run for a 1-0 lead and Rodriguez had a bloop single in the fourth to score Brett Gardner. McCann also homered in the ninth.
“I need to pick it up,” McCann said. “If I’m hitting in the middle of the order I got to hit.”
Yankees: 1B Mark Teixeira (cartilage tear in his right knee) is scheduled to begin a rehabilitation assignment Tuesday. Girardi expects Teixeira to play three games with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, take Friday off and return to the Yankees on Saturday.
Twins: RHP Trevor May (lower back spasms) was scheduled to throw a bullpen session Sunday, but after some mechanical work Saturday he won’t throw until Tuesday. . RF/DH Miguel Sano (left hamstring strain) is scheduled for a more extensive workout Monday. Molitor said Sano’s swing is fine, but is concerned his running isn’t where it needs to be.
Yankees: RHP Ivan Nova (5-4, 4.77) takes the hill Tuesday against Colorado’s RHP Chad Bettis (5-5, 5.63). Nova has won two of three June starts despite allowing 13 earned runs in 17 1/3 innings.
Twins: RHP Tyler Duffey (2-6, 5.56) is scheduled to start when the Twins open a three-game home series with Philadelphia on Tuesday. Duffey is 1-4 in his last six starts, giving up at last four earned runs each time. Aaron Nola (5-6, 3.51) is to start for the Phillies.
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