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Twins drop another one-run game to New York

By La Velle E. Neal III

McClatchy Newspapers

MINNEAPOLIS — There’s no team that will let you know where you stand like the Yankees. The Twins have found that out six times this season.

On Wednesday, they fell short once again in a 4-3 loss to New York that halted their series win streak at four and put them on the verge of being swept as the teams finish a three-game series on Thursday afternoon at the Metrodome.

The Twins got within 4-3 in the seventh when Joe Mauer homered to left off reliever Phil Coke for his 15th of the season. Mauer batted again in the ninth against uber closer Mariano Rivera but lined softy to shortstop Derek Jeter to end the game.

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It was the latest message that the Twins might be pesky but are a little short when they match up with the Yankees. They are 0-6 against them — and four of those losses have been by one run.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, once again, had to give his "the Yankees are who we thought they were" explanation after the game.

"We’re competing with them, but we’ve got to beat them," Gardenhire said. "Competing with them doesn’t get it (done) at this level. You’ve got to beat them. You’ve got to find a way to win a game. Tomorrow we’ve got to find a way to win a game. You’re facing (CC) Sabathia, and this guy tonight (A.J. Burnett), that’s really good pitching.

"That’s why the Yankees are winning a lot of games, along with about seven or eight All-Stars on the field. So you’re facing a great team."

That said, the Twins aren’t going to accept any suggestion that they can’t beat the Yankees.

"I don’t like to admit defeat or admit somebody owns me," outfielder Denard Span said. "You keep saying that ... The truth is they have beaten us seven (actually six) times this year."

Rookie righthander Anthony Swarzak, filling in for the ill Glen Perkins, learned where he stood as he tried to figure out ways to get Yankee hitters out.

The Yankees loaded the bases against Swarzak in the second inning before Nick Swisher tapped out to Swarzak as the first run of the game scored. Swarzak (2-3) was a pitch away from getting out of the inning, but his 2-2 offering to Brett Gardner was whacked to center field for a two-run single and a 3-0 Yankees lead.

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Swarzak gave up a leadoff double to Jeter in the fifth, and Jeter eventually scored on a single by Alex Rodriguez to make the score 4-2 and end Swarzak’s night. But pitching coach Rick Anderson was impressed with how Swarzak threw the ball over the plate most of the night.

"That shows that he wasn’t scared," Anderson said.

Burnett went six innings and improved to 8-4. The Twins loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth but Michael Cuddyer struck out on a pitch out of the strike zone. The Twins had runners on first and second with one out in the sixth but Nick Punto flied out and Span struck out.

YANKEES 4, TWINS 3

New York Minnesota

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Jeter ss 5 1 2 0 Span lf-cf 5 1 2 0

Damon lf 5 0 0 0 BHarrs ss 4 1 0 0

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MeCarr lf 0 0 0 0 Mauer c 5 1 3 2

Teixeir 1b 3 0 1 0 Mornea 1b 3 0 0 0

ARdrgz 3b 4 0 1 1 Cuddyr rf 4 0 0 0

HMatsu dh 4 1 1 0 Kubel dh 4 0 2 0

Posada c 3 1 2 0 Crede 3b 4 0 1 0

Cano 2b 3 1 1 0 Gomez cf 2 0 0 0

Swisher rf 4 0 1 1 Buschr ph 1 0 1 0

Gardnr cf 4 0 1 2 DlmYn lf 0 0 0 0

Punto 2b 2 0 0 0

JMorls ph 1 0 0 0

Tolbert 2b 0 0 0 0

Totals 35 4 10 4 Totals 35 3 9 2

New York 030 010 000 — 4

Minnesota 002 000 100 — 3

E—B.Harris (6). DP—Minnesota 1. LOB—New York 7, Minnesota 9. 2B—Jeter (16), Posada (10), Mauer (13). HR—Mauer (15). SB—Gardner (18), Span (14). CS—Gardner (3).

IP H R ER BB SO

New York

A.Burnett W,8-4 6 1-3 7 2 2 4 2

Coke H,8 1-3 1 1 1 0 1

Hughes H,4 1 1 0 0 0 0

Ma.Rivera S,22-23 1 1-3 0 0 0 0 1

Minnesota

Swarzak L,2-3 4 1-3 8 4 4 1 0

Keppel 3 2-3 2 0 0 1 0

Mijares 1 0 0 0 0 0

HBP—by Swarzak (Cano). WP—A.Burnett 3.

Umpires—Home, Scott Barry; First, Tim Timmons; Second, Mark Wegner; Third, Jeff Kellogg.

T—3:00. A—38,115 (46,632).

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