10/07/09 10:21 PM EST
Twins Short Hops: Game 1
Day after tiebreaker, Minnesota fizzles in ALDS opener
By Brittany Ghiroli / Special to MLB.com
Coming off an emotionally charged win, the Twins held their own early, but fell victim to CC Sabathia and the Yanks' high-powered offense. Frozen moment
Second baseman Nick Punto made a running stop on a ball up the middle, making a throw before falling face-first into the infield grass to get a hustling Robinson Cano for the first out of the sixth inning.
8: Strikeouts for Sabathia. The big lefty allowed just two hits from the fourth inning on, and also didn't walk a batter.
Punto was one of the few bright spots for Minnesota, flashing the leather in the sixth inning and going 2-for-3 at the plate. As the No. 9 batter, Punto was one of two Twins batters who touched Sabathia for multiple hits.
The veteran shortstop continued to swing a hot bat, going 2-for-5 with a stolen base. But Cabrera's strikeout vs. Phil Hughes in the seventh, the 10th pitch of the at-bat, was a big one, as the Twins stranded runners on second and third.
Making just his 10th career start, Duensing was plagued by several big hits, including a two-run homer to Derek Jeter and a two-out double to Nick Swisher that put the Twins behind. He exited after allowing five earned runs on seven hits over 4 2/3 innings.
Sense of October
New Yankee Stadium was filled to capacity for its first postseason game, with actress Kate Hudson and rapper Jay-Z among the boisterous crowd of 49,464 on hand to witness history.
4 AB, 2 H, 1 2B, 1 R
Comment: Mauer's two-out double in the third inning helped give way to a two-run inning for the Twins. He later scored on Jorge Posada's passed ball. The American League batting champ also singled to open the eighth.
2 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 K
Comment: After giving up a solo homer to the first batter he faced -- Hideki Matsui -- Liriano helped slow down the Yankees' potent lineup, but he couldn't completely keep them in check.
The Twins will get a sorely needed off-day on Thursday, opting out of a workout in New York. Game 2 starter Nick Blackburn will take the hill on Friday, looking to even the series before it shifts to Minnesota.
Brittany Ghiroli is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.