MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Byron Buxton and Ryan Jeffers each hit home runs in the fifth inning off Nestor Cortes to send the New York left-hander to an early exit, and the Minnesota Twins cruised to an 8-1 victory Wednesday that stopped the Yankees’ seven-game winning streak.
Cortes allowed season highs in hits (seven) and runs (four) in 4 2/3 innings, his shortest appearance of the year that knocked him out of the major league ERA lead.
This was the first time in 20 starts that he allowed more than three runs, falling one short of the longest such streak in team history.
Chris Archer (1-2) picked up his first victory for the Twins in his team-leading 11th start, completing five innings with only two hits allowed. He had four walks, but DJ LeMahieu’s sacrifice fly in the fifth was the only damage done by a Yankees lineup that totaled 14 hits the night before.
The eight runs by the Twins were one more than the Yankees allowed combined over the last seven games.
Rookie Jose Miranda had a career-high three hits and matched his previous best with three RBIs, contributing one of the five singles in the fourth inning the Twins used to get Cortes off track. Miranda is 8 for 16 with seven RBIs in his last four starts.
Carlos Correa returned from COVID-19 to give the Twins a big lift, scoring twice, and Buxton reached base three times. Jeffers had the biggest hit of all, a soaring drive to the third deck that greeted Cortes to start the fifth and stopped an 0-for-21 slide.
Giancarlo Stanton, who recently returned to the Yankees from a nine-game absence due to inflammation in his ankle, played right field for the first time in 17 days.
Stanton had a tough time with two tricky-but-catchable fly balls by Gio Urshela going over his head and hitting the wall.
The first one went for an RBI single in the fourth. The second one was a leadoff double in the sixth that preceded a double by Miranda, when a blooper just inside the line eluded him after first baseman Anthony Rizzo peeled off to yield to Stanton.
Manager Aaron Boone, whose versatile outfielders have allowed him extra lineup flexibility, expressed his confidence before the game in Stanton’s ability with the glove.
“He’s got an accurate arm. I think he reads the ball well and runs really good routes. He gets his hands on it, and he catches it. He’s precise,” Boone said. “He’s just very fundamentally sound out there obviously not being as fast as he was back in the early days of his career.”
The return of Correa put another regular back on the active roster for the Twins, but leading hitter Luis Arraez was on the bench with tightness in his throwing shoulder that forced him out in the seventh inning of the game Tuesday.
Arraez was on track to play Thursday, manager Rocco Baldelli said. The Twins have 13 players on the injured list. Starting pitcher Joe Ryan remains on the COVID-19 list.
Yankees: RHP Gerrit Cole (5-1, 2.78 ERA) pitches Thursday night. He gave up only two hits over seven scoreless innings with nine strikeouts in his last start to beat Detroit.
Twins: RHP Dylan Bundy (3-3, 5.57 ERA) takes the mound in the final game as the Twins try to win their first series against the Yankees since Sept. 10-12, 2018, at Target Field.
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