Yankees’ offensive struggle allows Twins first series win in 22 years

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New York Yankees 2, Minnesota Twins 6

MINNEAPOLIS — Joe Ryan was the first player in the major leagues to win five games this season. Byron Buxton and Trevor Larnach both hit two-run homers in the sixth inning, and the Minnesota Twins beat the New York Yankees 6-2 on Tuesday night to win their first season series against the Yankees since 2001.

Ryan (5-0) and Jerry Koosman (1979) are the only Twins pitchers to win their first five starts since the team moved to Minnesota for the 1961 season. Ryan gave up two runs, one of which was earned, on seven hits. He struck out seven batters and didn’t walk anyone.

Before their last game on Wednesday, the Twins had won four of their six games against the Yankees this year. This was the best record for Minnesota against New York since they went 4-2 in 2001.

Both Minnesota and New York had eight hits, but the Twins had seven extra-base hits (five doubles and two home runs), while the Yankees had none.

For the first time this season, New York lost three consecutive games and four out of five.

Giancarlo Stanton has a strained left hamstring, Josh Donaldson has a strained right hamstring, and Harrison Bader has a strained left oblique. Without them, the Yankees have scored averaged 2.9 runs and a batting average of .201 in their last 12 games, compared to 5.1 runs and a batting average of .249 in their first 12.

“I think when you back off and strip the emotion, watching tonight I felt like a different offensive game, a different at-bat quality than what we saw last night,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “In some ways, you try to take a little gain in that. But the reality is we’re in a stretch right now where we haven’t scored enough runs, and that’s got to change.”

Jorge Polanco added two more hits. Since coming off the injured list, he has hit safely in all five games he has played.

Ryan has led Minnesota to wins in nine straight games.

Nestor Cortes (3-1), who was pitching for the Yankees, gave up four runs, three of which were earned. This was the first time in 16 games that he had given up three runs or less.

Cortes and Buxton were tied at 2-2 when Buxton hit his fourth home run of the year, a flat cutter to an open first base. Larnach hit the first home run that Ron Marinaccio has given up this season.

“I know I could have done a better job locating the inside part of the plate in that last inning,” Cortes said. “Byron Buxton hit a cutter that I thought didn’t get in enough. I think that was the difference in the game right there.”

Anthony Volpe had two hits for New York, but for the third straight game, he made an error.

A day after saying that the Yankees needed to start faster and be bold in their early at-bats, Aaron Judge led New York to a run in the first inning.

Judge hit a single, moved to second on a wild pitch, and then scored on a single by DJ LeMahieu. Judge was moved out of the second spot in the batting order for the first time this season. He went to third and switched spots with Anthony Rizzo.

In the third, RBI doubles by Donovan Solano and Polanco gave the Twins a 2-1 lead, but the Yankees tied the game with an unearned run in the fifth.

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New York’s starting pitcher is RHP Domingo Germán (1-2, 4.50 ERA), and Minnesota’s is Kenta Maeda (0-3, 4.15). Germán only gave up one run in 6 1/3 innings against the Twins on April 15. The umpires let him stay in the game after multiple sticky substance checks, which got Baldelli thrown out.

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