Yanks did what's expected: Beat the tired Twins

BY foxsports • October 8, 2009

Did this surprise anyone?

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The Yankees beat the Twins, 7-2, in Game 1 of the American League Division Series on Wednesday night. CC Sabathia and Alex Rodriguez stumbled early but had big moments in the middle innings to help their wounded autumn reputations.

Derek Jeter was an October hero — again — with a two-run clout over the left field wall. The bullpen, featuring a recent addition named Joba Chamberlain, was almost flawless.

"All around," said Chamberlain, who retired the only batter he faced, "that's a great start for us."

The Yankees had the majors' best record during the regular season. They were playing the first postseason game at their lavish new stadium. They weren't going to lose to the Twins, who were taxed by the 163-game American League Central race that wasn't resolved until Tuesday night.

The Minnesotans didn't finish celebrating their epic triumph over the Tigers until a little more than 19 hours before the first pitch. They arrived at their New York hotel around 4 a.m. Wednesday. Not ideal pregame preparation for an underdog.

"They played better than us," said Twins right-hander Carl Pavano, who was maligned throughout his injury-plagued Yankees career. "We're going to be a little fresher, I'm sure, on Friday. The day off is definitely going to recharge us."

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