MINNEAPOLIS — Hours after trading Vidal Nuno to Arizona for Brandon McCarthy and cutting outfielder Alfonso Soriano, the New York Yankees took a nine-run lead by the fourth inning and seemed set for a laugher at Target Field.
The game ended with the potential go-ahead run at the plate.
Jacoby Ellsbury homered, doubled and drove in four runs as Yankees beat the Minnesota Twins 9-7 Sunday after their roster shakeup and moved back above .500 at 44-43.
“Sometimes you can’t really pinpoint it, but we like where we’re at right now,” Ellsbury said. “Hopefully keep it rolling.”
Derek Jeter and Ichiro Suzuki each had three hits for the Yankees, who have won 14 of 18 overall at Target Field.
Jeter’s ninth-inning single made him the eighth player to reach 3,400 hits.
“We pay a little bit of attention, but I don’t think he pays too close attention to it,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “Obviously, he’s going to end up way up there in record books. He pays more attention to wins, and that’s what we worry about.”
New York took three of four from the Twins after losing nine of its previous 11.
The 38-year-old Soriano is in the final year of a $136 million, eight-year contract he signed with the Chicago Cubs, who traded him last summer to the Yankees, where he began his big league career. He was hitting .221 this season with six homers and 23 RBIs in 67 games. New York has 10 days to trade Soriano or place him on unconditional waivers.
“He’s a guy that’s used to playing every day,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “Wasn’t every day for him. Maybe it was harder for him to get going, not sure. I’m sure he’s extremely disappointed.”
New York catcher Brian McCann returned to the lineup after missing two games because of a sore foot and doubled home Jeter in the first. Ellsbury’s three-run homer off Ricky Nolasco (5-7) capped a four-run burst in the second that made it 6-0.