Mauer hits grand slam as Twins top Yankees
MINNEAPOLIS — Joe Mauer capped a six-run fifth inning with a grand slam and the host Minnesota Twins roughed up the New York Yankees en route to a 10-5 victory Tuesday night, Sept. 11, at Target Field.
Mauer gave the Twins a 10-1 lead when he drove a full-count fastball from right-handed reliever Tommy Kahnle into the grassy area beyond the center field fence for his sixth homer of the season. It was the first baseman's fifth career grand slam and first since last Sept. 17 off Toronto reliever Chris Rowley.
Mauer's grand slam earned him a curtain call from the fans and helped the Twins beat the Yankees for the first time in the last nine meetings, including last season's wild-card game.
Jorge Polanco collected three hits, including an RBI double in the fourth off reliever Jonathan Loaisiga that put Minnesota ahead 4-1.
Before Mauer's drive, the Twins expanded their lead against Loaisiga on a bases-loaded walk by Max Kepler and a bloop single by Williams Astudillo that dropped in front of Yankees right fielder Andrew McCutchen.
Mauer also scored Minnesota's first run in the third on a passed ball by catcher Austin Romine with the bases loaded. The Twins took the lead on Jake Cave's two-run single up the middle off Sonny Gray (10-9) after Mauer scored.
Didi Gregorius hit a grand slam in the sixth and tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Gary Sanchez in the second as the Yankees fell to 4-4 on a nine-game road trip. The Yankees (90-55) also saw their lead in the wild-card race trimmed to two games over Oakland.
Tyler Duffey served as the "opener" for the Twins and allowed one run on two hits in two innings. Kohl Stewart (1-1) followed and allowed three runs on two hits in 3 1/3 scoreless innings to get the win despite allowing five walks.
Stewart exited after issuing a free pass to Giancarlo Stanton that loaded the bases with one out in the sixth. Three pitches later, Gregorius hammered a 1-2 fastball from Trevor May over the right-field seats to make it 10-5.
It was Gregorius' 23rd homer and second career grand slam. After May allowed the Yankees to inch closer, he fanned Sanchez and Luke Voit.
Gray made his second spot start since being removed from New York's rotation last month. He allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits in three innings.