NEW YORK (AP) — Alex Rodriguez hit a slump-busting grand slam in the seventh inning, and the New York Yankees rallied from a three-run deficit against a depleted Minnesota bullpen to beat the Twins 8-4 Tuesday night.
A-Rod extended his major league record for grand slams, hitting the 25th of his career into the Yankees bullpen off J.R. Graham (0-1) to put New York up 5-4.
Rookie Miguel Sano homered for the second consecutive game, a two-run shot off CC Sabathia, and Shane Robinson had an RBI single against Nick Rumbelow (1-0) in the seventh to give Minnesota a 4-1 lead.
Andrew Miller went 1 1-3 innings for his 27th save.
Pinch-hitter Chase Headley singled off left-hander Ryan O’Rourke leading off the bottom half. Brendan Ryan walked and, after Jacoby Ellsbury flew out to right, Brett Gardner walked to load the bases.
Without relievers Casey Fien, Kevin Jepsen and closer Glenn Perkins, who had all pitched on three consecutive days, Twins manager Paul Molitor turned to Graham, a Rule 5 draft pick.
After a first pitch ball, Rodriguez connected on a 95 mph fastball, snapping an 0-for-18 slump and earning a curtain call from the crowd of 38,007.
Rookie Greg Bird added his first major league RBI for New York.
Pitching on an extra day of rest, Sabathia retired the first 13 batters before walking Trevor Plouffe in the fifth. Eduardo Escobar singled two batters later to end the no-hit bid.
Plouffe scored on Kurt Suzuki’s RBI double, but Esobar was thrown out at home on a perfect relay throw by shortstop Didi Gregorious.
The Twins went up 4-1 in the top of the seventh.
After Joe Maurer worked a leadoff walk against Sabathia, Sano hit the first pitch he saw from the big lefty, just clearing the wall in left-center for his third home run against the Yankees in only five games.
Sabathia retired the next two batters before giving up back-to-back singles to Escobar and Suzuki, ending his day. Sabathia pitched 6 2-3 innings, allowing four runs and five hits, striking out five and walking three.
Mike Pelfrey worked into the sixth inning, allowing five hits and one run. He walked one and struck out four.
Chase Headley had a two-run double and Jacoby Ellsbury an RBI single in the eighth.
Yankees: Although initial x-rays were negative, first baseman Mark Texeira (right shin) was scheduled to have more tests today after he fouled a ball off his leg on Monday. “He was still really sore today,” manager Joe Girardi said. “I was concerned when he did it, right away, because of where it hit, there’s no padding when you hit it off your shin, I mean, that’s straight bone.” … Headley (rest) was held out of the lineup, but entered the game as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning and finished the game at third base.
Twins: Ervin Santana (2-3, 5.66 ERA) will make his 17th career start against the Yankees in the series finale. He is 5-8 with a 6.34 ERA against the Yankees and has not defeated the Yankees since August 1, 2008, a span of 10 starts.
Yankees: Nathan Eovaldi (12-2, 4.26 ERA) faces the Twins for the second time in his career, looking to extend his seven-decision winning streak. He defeated the Twins on July 26, giving up two runs and striking out five, in his eight innings of work.
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