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Yankees 10 @ Twins 4

Sunday May 12, 2002

Mussina W5-2 | 7.2IP | 8H | 4ER | 0BB | 9K | 3.72ERA

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Facing Mike Mussina and missing three starters from their lineup Sunday, the Minnesota Twins needed a strong outing from Rick Reed.

Instead, the New York Yankees teed off on Reed. They hit five home runs in a span of eight at-bats and Mussina was tough on the Twins again in a 10-4 victory to finish a three-game sweep.

"They had their hitting shoes on," said Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire. "Everybody knows it -- these guys can play."

Joe Torre became the 17th manager in history to win 1,500 games, and the Yankees had 18 hits to win their sixth straight -- all on the road. They swept their first series at the Metrodome since May 17-19, 1993.

"It was nice to see us break out," Torre said. "Winning is a lot of fun. Fifteen hundred is a byproduct of what this team means to me."

Jorge Posada and Robin Ventura hit back-to-back homers in the fourth and Nick Johnson and Derek Jeter hit solo shots in the fifth against Reed (4-2).

"Honestly, as crazy as it might sound, I thought Reed threw pretty well," Gardenhire said. "Everytime he made a mistake over the zone, they hit it."

Jason Giambi hit the most impressive of the homers -- a two-run blast in the fifth off Jack Cressend that landed in the upper deck in right field and gave New York a 7-0 lead.

Posada had four hits and two RBI, and Giambi had three hits and drove in three runs. Bernie Williams had two hits and finished 8-for-13 in the series to raise his average to .284.

After winning 14 of its first 15 home games, Minnesota has dropped five of seven in the Metrodome.

The good news for the banged-up Twins was a crowd of 26,165 that gave them a total of 105,357 for the series and a three-run homer by Matthew LeCroy off Mussina in the eighth inning.

"Today was a day for our offense," Mussina said. "I'm appreciative because I didn't finish the way I wanted to."

LeCroy, batting .322, was optioned to Triple-A Edmonton after the game to accommodate designated hitter David Ortiz's return from the disabled list.

"His slider is unbelievable," LeCroy said of Mussina. "You can't do anything about it -- he's a winner."

Mussina (5-2) gave up four runs and eight hits in 7 2-3 innings. He struck out nine without a walk to improve to 18-2 against the Twins in 21 career starts. His last loss to Minnesota was Aug. 9, 1998.

Mussina was working on a three-hitter until pinch-hitter Bobby Kielty singled in the seventh. He needed only 72 pitches through the first six innings against a depleted Twins lineup.

Doug Mientkiewicz, who entered with 14 hits in his last 21 at-bats against the Yankees, went 0-for-3 with a strikeout. Jacque Jones, who began the game with an AL-leading .373 average against right-handers, went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.

"It's pleasing to sweep a good club in their place," Mussina said. "Hopefully we've got it going in the right direction again."

Reed, who left his last start after five innings with a strained right forearm that kept him from throwing his slider, allowed a double to Alfonso Soriano on the first pitch of the game and an RBI single to Williams later in the first. But he retired eight of the next nine batters until Posada homered in the fourth.

Ventura followed with his ninth home run, a day after his two-run shot in the ninth gave the Yankees a 4-2 win.

"It was just a good day for us all around," Ventura said. "It's nice to get games like this where we can give our pitchers enough breathing room."

Jeter's home run was all for Reed, who gave up five runs and seven hits in 4 2-3 innings and struck out six.

"The forearm was fine, everything felt fine," Reed said. "Just couldn't stay away from that big inning. The pitch to Jeter was the only bad one I made all day. They've got a great ballclub over there."

Game notes
The last time the Yankees hit three homers in an inning was Aug. 5, 1999, against Seattle. They hit five in a game once already this season, April 17 against Baltimore. ... The mothers of Mientkiewicz and Twins CF Torii Hunter, Janice Mientkiewicz and Shirley Hunter, each threw a ceremonial first pitch to their sons before the game. ... The Twins were trailing last year's attendance pace entering the weekend, but the three-game series put them ahead of last season. They're averaging 20,678 per game


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