Yankees swept Twins in Game 2 behind IKF’s grand slam

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New York Yankees 7, Minnesota Twins 1

NEW YORK — Aaron Judge hit his major league-leading 55th home run in the first game, and Isiah Kiner-Falefa hit a go-ahead grand slam in the second. The Yankees swept the Minnesota Twins 5-4 and 7-1 on Wednesday.

In the first game, Kiner-Falefa’s RBI single tied the score and started a two-run 12th. In the fourth inning of the second game, he beat a 1-0 deficit by hitting a Joe Ryan (10-8) slider into the left-field stands. IKF flipped his bat after his first grand slam, which was also his 19th home run.

With a game-ending single in the first game, Oswaldo Cabrera broke a streak of going 0-for-25. The Yankees gave the Twins a team from the 1990s, with uniform numbers that are usually only worn in spring training. Kiner-Falefa played third base for the first time in two years.

Gerrit Cole (11-7) allowed five hits and two walks in 6 2/3 innings, striking out 14. Carlos Correa hit a third-inning homer, then struck out to strand two runners against Lucas Luetge, who got his second save. After Austin Davis walked the Nos. 7-9 hitters, Aaron Hicks added a 3-run double.

New York (83-54) took a five-game lead over second-place Tampa Bay in the AL East and won its 30th straight season despite having a lineup with a lot of injured players. Since 2002, including the playoffs, the Yankees are 114-39 against the Twins.

You can see the energy they bring, Game 1 starter Domingo Germán said through a translator. They bring so much energy to the clubhouse.

In the 10th inning, Cabrera threw out Gilberto Celestino at the plate. This was his fifth outfield assist since he made his debut on August 17. He also caught Gio Urshela by sliding.

We love his poise and his makeup, Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. He’s not afraid.

During the doubleheader, Peraza got his first four hits in the major leagues. Two of them were doubles.

Judge hit his fourth home run in a row when he drove a changeup to left in the fourth inning. This was the only bad thing about Louie Varland’s major league debut, which was otherwise great.

Judge beat Alex Rodriguez’s record of 54 home runs for the Yankees in 2007, which was the record for right-handed batters. In 1961, Roger Maris hit 61 home runs for the Yankees, which was also the AL record and one more than Babe Ruth’s high of 60 in 1927.

Varland, who is 24 years old and throws with his right hand, gave up three hits, one walk, and seven strikeouts in 5 and a third innings. He threw 44 fastballs at an average speed of 93.9 mph. He also threw 19 changeups and 17 sliders.

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s cousin Jose Miranda hit a two-run homer in the first and Celestino had an RBI single in the third.

Gleyber Torres’ two-run homer off Griffin Jax tied the game at 3.

Weissert retired Correa and Miranda after Celestino’s RBI single gave Minnesota a 4-3 lead in the 12th.

Kiner-Falefa singled off Trevor Megill (3-3), stole second with one out, and was held at third by Jose Trevino’s single. Cabrera’s 2-out, opposite-field single ended a 4-hour, 3-minute battle.

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New York’s All-Star left-handed starter Nestor Cortes (9-4, 2.68 ERA) may return from a groin strain in time for a start.

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