Major League Baseball
Yankees-Twins preview
Major League Baseball

Yankees-Twins preview

Updated Mar. 4, 2020 9:01 p.m. ET

Carlos Beltran's swing was impressive when he sent a ball into the upper deck in the first inning on Friday night for the New York Yankees.

Many of the other Yankees' other swings also produced good results. New York had 14 hits and each starter had at least one hit.

Beltran and the Yankees will look to have another productive showing against the Minnesota Twins on Saturday afternoon when the teams continue their four-game series at Target Field.

The Yankees have begun the series by outscoring the Twins 12-1 and hitting .313 (21-for-67).


On Thursday, they waited until the seventh inning to get a lead. But a night later, New York cruised to an 8-2 victory by taking a 1-0 lead on Rob Refsnyder's double five pitches in and a 3-0 edge on Beltran's upper deck home run on the 14th pitch of the game.

Beltran had three hits Friday and has 19 in his last 52 at-bats and leads the team by a wide margin with 17 home runs this season. He had his latest big game after sitting out twice in Colorado because of left knee soreness.

"The knee was fine," Beltran told reporters. "Right now, I don't think it's an issue. There is still a little fluid, but the pain is not there which is good."

Beltran's big swing helped provide Masahiro Tanaka with some comfort and the right-hander pitched eight effective innings.

"I think it's important because it allows the pitcher to relax a little bit and every pitch isn't the end of the world," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "To be able to give him seven runs pretty quickly is nice."

The Yankees will hope to duplicate the formula for Michael Pineda, who like Tanaka is pitching on five days' rest. Pineda is 3-7 with a 5.88 ERA but has pitched better recently.

The right-hander has allowed six runs and 17 hits in his last three starts, spanning 18 2/3 innings. He last pitched Sunday when he allowed two runs and six hits in six innings during a 4-1 loss to Detroit.

The Twins have dropped seven straight to the Yankees and 18 of the 23 meetings with New York at Target Field. Overall, Minnesota has dropped four in row, getting outscored by a 27-9 margin in those games.

Minnesota's pitching staff has a 5.23 ERA after Pat Dean was tagged for seven runs and eight hits in 2 1/3 innings.

"You hate to say a game is over (that) early. It happened fast," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "Didn't start out well."

About the only thing to go well for the Twins was Joe Mauer reaching base for the 28th straight game. Mauer joined Lenny Green (1961) and Hall of Famer Rod Carew (1977) as the only Twins to have at least two streaks of reaching safely in 28 games during a season.

The Twins will have at least one new arm Saturday. Dean was optioned to the minors after Friday and will be replaced by Tommy Millone, whose contract will be purchased from Triple-A Rochester.

Meanwhile, the Twins will hope Ricky Nolasco can begin turning things around for a rotation with a combined 9-33 record. Nolasco is 3-4 with a 5.12 ERA. In his last nine starts, the right-hander is 2-4 with a 6.16 ERA.

Nolasco's last outing was among his better ones of the season. During Monday's 9-4 win over the Los Angeles Angels, he allowed three runs and seven hits in six innings.


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