Aaron Judge, Anthony Rizzo power Yankees past rival Twins

MINNEAPOLIS — A shaky outing from Jameson Taillon and a season-high three errors from the defense against a first-place team didn’t slow down the Yankees, as Aaron Judge and the Bronx wrecking machine arrived at Target Field on Tuesday and did pretty much what you’d expect against a Twins team seemingly incapable of beating them.

Judge started things off with a two-run shot in the first, and Anthony Rizzo finished off the Twins with a three-run homer in the seventh, as the Yankees won their seventh in a row with a 10-4 victory.

“Today was not indicative of who we are,” Josh Donaldson said. “We played a little sloppy. But we have a deep team. … We don’t want to continue to play like that, but it’s nice to pick each other up.”

With the win, the Yankees improved to 40-15, tied for the sixth-best start in franchise history.

The Twins, who find themselves in first place in the AL Central, hung in for a while, as Taillon allowed four runs in four-plus innings.

Aaron Judge accepts congratulations from Anthony Rizzo after belting a two-run homer in the first inning of the Yankees' 10-4 win over the Twins.  Rizzo hit a three-run homer later in the game.
Aaron Judge accepts congratulations from Anthony Rizzo after belting a two-run homer in the first inning of the Yankees’ 10-4 win over the Twins. Rizzo hit a three-run homer later in the game.
AP

Though the rotation has carried the Yankees for much of the season, the bullpen was strong on Tuesday, as Lucas Luetge and Wandy Peralta provided three key scoreless innings in relief, with Luetge retiring three straight with Max Kepler at second base after Taillon left in the fifth. Ron Marinaccio kept the Twins scoreless for the final two frames.

Judge put the Yankees ahead with a two-run shot in the top of the first, as his destruction of American League pitching shows no signs of slowing down.

He followed DJ LeMahieu’s leadoff single with a mammoth blow to dead center for his MLB-high 22nd home run.

After Rizzo struck out, Giancarlo Stanton sent a blast 445 feet into the second deck in left-center to give the Yankees a 3-0 lead.

Giancarlo Stanton celebrates with Aaron Hicks after belting a solo home run in the first inning of the Yankees' win.
Giancarlo Stanton celebrates with Aaron Hicks after belting a solo home run in the first inning of the Yankees’ win.
USA TODAY Sports

It was Stanton’s 12th homer of the season and first since coming off the IL.

The Twins got a run back off Taillon in the bottom of the inning.

Byron Buxton doubled with one out and went to third on a single to right by Jorge Polanco. Kepler’s sacrifice fly scored Buxton to make it 3-1.

With one on and two out in the bottom of the third, the Twins drew closer, as Polanco drilled an 0-2 four-seam fastball to the gap in right-center to drive in Luis Arraez from first, narrowing the Yankees’ lead to one run.

Judge knocked in another run in the fourth. Joey Gallo singled and LeMahieu walked to start the inning before Judge singled to left.

Taillon’s issues continued, with ex-Yankee Gio Urshela reaching on an infield hit with one out in the fourth. He advanced to second on Donaldson’s errant throw to first on the play. A single to left by Gilberto Celestino put runners on the corners, and Jermaine Palacios’ sacrifice fly got Minnesota back to within a run.

An Aaron Hicks single and Jose Trevino walk gave the Yankees two on with two out in the fifth, and the runners advanced to second and third on a wild pitch by Juan Minaya. Gallo walked to load the bases for LeMahieu.

LeMahieu, who reached base five times and picked up his 1,500th career hit, walked to drive in Hicks — who had a pair of singles and two walks.

Polanco, though, continued to hit Taillon hard, leading off the bottom of the inning with a long homer to right on a 1-2 pitch. A single by Kepler ended Taillon’s outing with no outs in the fifth.

Luetge retired the next three batters to keep the Yankees ahead.

“The offense kept going the entire time,” Donaldson said. “We kept adding on, which was important when it looked like that game [could turn on] one swing. Rizzo took advantage.”

The first baseman crushed a two-out, three-run homer off Tyler Duffey in the seventh to give the Yankees some insurance, and the bottom of the lineup contributed in the eighth, as Trevino and Gallo added RBI singles.

Everyone in the Yankees’ lineup had a hit in the 14-hit barrage.

“We’ve been saying all year we’re winning in a lot of different ways and tonight was just another,” Taillon said. “I didn’t get my job done, but the offense got its job done.”

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