Kevin Schnepf, Published October 07 2010
ALDS: ‘Yankee Curse’ hits Twins in the opener
Twice, when the sellout Target Field crowd of 42,032 chanted something derogatory towards the Yankees, bad things happened for the Minnesota Twins.
The result was a 6-4 loss in Game 1 of Wednesday’s American League Division Series and the Twins’ 10th playoff loss in the past 12 tries against the Yankees.
“There is some disappointment,” said Twins’ manager Ron Gardenhire, who now has an 18-56 record against the Yankeees since 2002. “We couldn’t come up with another big hit. That’s what it’s all about. They got a couple big hits and we missed our opportunities.”
The Twins were flirting with snapping a nine-game losing streak in the playoffs by building a 3-0 lead after five innings. But that changed quickly when the Target Field crowd started its first anti-Yankees chant.
One pitch later, Jorge Posada smacked a one-run single to make it 3-2. Three Francisco Liriano pitches later, Curtis Granderson drilled a two-run triple off the right-field wall to give the Yankees a 4-3 lead.
“He (Liriano) got a couple pitches up and they didn’t miss it,” Gardenhire said. “Granderson hit a ball that we thought was a routine fly ball and it carried pretty good tonight.”
Thanks to a bases-loaded walk, the Twins tied the score during their next at-bat. With the bases loaded, another chant started. Then J.J. Hardy struck out swinging to end the threat.
In the next Yankees at-bat, Mark Teixeira boomed a two-run homer inside the right-field pole to make it 6-4. The crowd was quiet and the Yankees held on to defeat the Twins again.
“It’s probably just bad luck for Minnesota,” Teixeira said. “That’s a good team over there. We’ve just been battling and it’s worked out.”
The Twins, who host the Yankees in a 5:07 p.m. game today before heading to New York for Game 3, have their work cut out for them. They have won only three of their past 20 games at New York.
“To get six runs in those two innings, that’s not easy to do in playoff baseball,” Yankee manager Joe Girardi said.
Readers can reach Forum Sports Editor Kevin Schnepf at (701) 241-5549
Schnepf’s NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com