Robinson Cano hits two HRs as Yanks top Twins to end skid
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Finally, the Yankees' offense helped one of its starters. And it happened when the club needed it most.
Andy Pettitte didn't have it for a fourth straight start, but a struggling offense picked up the slack in a 10-4 victory over the Twins Monday night at Target Field that snapped a five-game losing streak.
"Definitely a much better feeling in here tonight than we've had in some time here," Joe Girardi said as music boomed from the clubhouse speakers.
Robinson Cano hit two home runs and a double-- making him 10-for-17 with three homers in his last four games -- but the Yankees trailed 4-3 before picking up seven runs and seven hits in the final two innings.
Shawn Kelley, winning pitcher Joba Chamberlain, David Robertson and Mariano Rivera finished up with four scoreless innings after Chris Parmelee homered off Pettitte in the sixth to give the Twins a 4-3 lead.
Rivera pitched in a non-save situation after RBI singles by Travis Hafner and Zoilo Almonte, a bases-loaded walk to Chris Stewart and a run-scoring passed ball in the ninth gave the Yankees a 10-4 lead.
"Any time you're in a losing streak, you want to end it as soon as possible," Stewart said. "And the way we did it tonight, we came back in the eighth inning and put some good at-bats together and finally got those hits with runners in scoring position that we haven't been getting."
Considering the Yankees (43-39) had been limited to three or fewer runs in 20 of their previous 33 games, their 4-3 deficit in the eighth seemed immense. But they rallied against Jared Burton.
Cano led off by ripping a double into the gap in right-center. Ichiro Suzuki pinch hit for Vernon Wells and surprised everyone with a bunt single, putting runners at the corners. Burton threw over to first three times trying to keep Ichiro close and threw wildly on the third attempt, which tied it at 4 and sent Ichiro to third.
After Hafner flied to short center, Almonte's second of three singles, a ground smash to left, gave the Yankees a 5-4 lead. Stewart's RBI groundout against Brian Duensing made it 6-4.
"It's not about one guy, it's about the whole team tonight. That's what we want," said Cano, who had his third two-homer game of the season -- giving him 19 home runs and 51 RBIs -- and has gone 24-for-65 in his last 19 games to lift his average from .272 to .293.
Pettitte somehow survived a 42-pitch first inning to give the Yankees five innings-plus -- and in the process struck out two to pass Whitey Ford and take over first place on the franchise's career strikeout list with 1,958.
Pettitte fanned Justin Morneau to move into the top spot. He called that an "honor," but it was another night of frustration.
Pettitte, who came in 5-6 with a 4.22 ERA after allowing 12 earned runs in 192/3 innings in his previous three starts, allowed four runs and six hits.
"Good game for our club," he said. "Obviously disappointed with the way I threw, the results on my end, but just a great game for the team. We needed a win. The guys swung the bats well, the bullpen was awesome. Other than the starter that was out there, it was a big-time positive tonight, that's for sure."