Morneau, Marquis Lead Twins Past Yankees 6-5
NEW YORK (AP) — Justin Morneau hit two mammoth homers and Jason Marquis won his Minnesota debut with his healthy daughter in the stands, sending the Twins to a 6-5 victory over the New York Yankees on Wednesday night.
Joe Mauer and Jamey Carroll each had an RBI double in a four-run first inning against Hiroki Kuroda, helping the Twins improve to 9-34 at Yankee Stadium — including the playoffs — since Ron Gardenhire became manager in 2002. Minnesota has won two of three in the four-game set.
Morneau hit a two-run shot in the first and a solo drive in the fifth that chased Kuroda, who was coming off an excellent outing in New York’s home opener Friday. The 2006 AL MVP, derailed by a concussion as well as wrist and neck injuries the past two seasons, has four home runs in his last six games — matching his total in 69 games last year.
Robinson Cano hit his first home run of the season for the Yankees and Derek Jeter his fourth. Kuroda (1-2) was roughed up for 10 hits in 4 1-3 innings after taking a shutout into the ninth Friday against the Angels.
Morneau’s drive deep into the raised right-field bleachers in the fifth gave the slugger his 15th career multihomer game and first since May 31, 2011, at Detroit.
No surprise that it came at the new Yankee Stadium, where he has seven home runs in 12 games. He has five homers in 80 games at Target Field in Minnesota.
Morneau, who sat out Tuesday night for the first time this season, also singled and scored in the third on Sean Burroughs’ first hit and RBI with the Twins.
No doubt it was an emotional day for Marquis (1-0), who grew up in New York rooting for the Yankees and still lives in the city. He left about 30 tickets for family and friends for his first career start at Yankee Stadium.
Marquis signed a $3 million, one-year contract with the Twins in the offseason but left spring training after four starts when his 7-year-old daughter, Reese, was seriously hurt in a bicycle accident. Her injuries included a lacerated kidney and doctors initially were worried about whether she would survive. But she has recovered nicely and she was in the third-base stands Wednesday after bouncing around the ballpark with her dad the day before.
Needing to build up arm strength and stamina, Marquis made two starts at Double-A New Britain before he was recalled Wednesday. During his time with the Rock Cats, he commuted about 130 miles each way to and from Connecticut so he could spend time with his daughter as she healed.
Marquis threw 87 pitches in five innings and left with a 6-4 lead. He earned his first major league win since July 18 with the Nationals at Houston.
Twins relievers Brian Duensing, Jared Burton and Matt Capps combined for four solid innings. Capps gave up Jeter’s solo shot before fanning Curtis Granderson and retiring Mark Teixeira on a long fly for his third save.
Minnesota jumped on Kuroda right away, taking a 4-0 lead after five batters.
Denard Span, ejected Tuesday night along with Gardenhire, opened the game with a single and scored on Carroll’s double. Mauer looped an RBI double inside the left-field line and Morneau hit the first pitch he saw deep into the Yankees’ bullpen beyond the 385-foot sign.
Cano’s RBI double and Swisher’s two-run single cut it to 4-3 in the bottom half. New York then loaded the bases against a laboring Marquis, but second baseman Alexi Casilla made a nice stab to start an inning-ending double play on Eric Chavez’s sharp one-hopper.
NOTES: Yankees LF Brett Gardner was a late scratch with a sore right elbow after making a tumbling catch Tuesday night. He was replaced by Andruw Jones, who began the night 9 for 12 (.750) with five homers and 14 RBIs against Marquis. Jones drew a 10-pitch walk in the first inning and struck out in the fourth. … With the Yankees in the midst of playing 13 straight days, 3B Alex Rodriguez was rested for the first time this season and Swisher was the DH. Rodriguez grounded out as a pinch-hitter in the ninth. … Minnesota designated infielder Luke Hughes for assignment to open a roster spot for Marquis. … Miss America 2012 Laura Kaeppeler, from Wisconsin, sang the national anthem.
(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)