Joe Ryan becomes MLB’s first five game winner as Twins down Yankees 6-2

April 26, 2023

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Joe Ryan became the first five-game winner in the major leagues this season, Byron Buxton and Trevor Larnach hit two-run homers in the sixth inning and the Minnesota Twins beat New York 6-2 on Tuesday night to clinch their first season series against the Yankees since 2001.

Ryan (5-0) joined Jerry Koosman in 1979 as the only Twins pitchers to win their first five starts since the franchise moved to Minnesota for the 1961 season. Ryan allowed two runs — one earned — and seven hits in seven innings with seven strikeouts and no walks.

The Twins have won four of six games against the Yankees this year heading into their last meeting on Wednesday, the best record for Minnesota against New York since going 4-2 in 2001.

“Twenty-two years? I was 6,” Buxton said when told 2001 was the last time the Twins won the season series against New York. “This one felt extra good after hearing that then.”

Minnesota and New York each had eight hits but the Twins had seven extra-base hits — five doubles and two homers — and the Yankees had none.

New York has lost three straight for the first time this season and four of five.

Missing injured Giancarlo Stanton (strained left hamstring), Josh Donaldson (strained right hamstring) and Harrison Bader (strained left oblique), the Yankees have averaged 2.9 runs with a .201 batting average in their last dozen games after averaging 5.1 runs with a .249 average 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 a pair of hits and has hit safely in all five games since being activated from the injured list.

Minnesota has won nine straight games started by Ryan.

“If we can win when I’m pitching, that’s awesome,” Ryan said. “If we can win when everyone else is pitching, that’s even better. … It’s fun to pitch when you’ve got this defense and this offense.”

Nestor Cortes (3-1) surrendered four runs — three earned — in five innings for the Yankees, ending a streak of 16 straight starts allowing three runs or fewer.

Buxton broke a 2-2 tie against Cortes, hitting a flat cutter for his fourth homer of the year — with first base open. Larnach added the first home run allowed this season by Ron Marinaccio.

“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 a pair of hits for New York but committed an error for the third straight game.

A day after Aaron Judge said the Yankees needed to start quicker and be more aggressive in early at-bats, New York scored in the first with Judge leading the way.

Judge singled, went to second on a wild pitch and then scored on DJ LeMahieu’s single. Judge was moved out of the No. 2 slot in the batting order for the first time this season, dropped to third and flipped with Anthony Rizzo.

Minnesota took a 2-1 lead in the third on RBI doubles from Donovan Solano and Polanco, but the Yankees tied the score with an unearned run in the fifth.


Yankees: Left-hander Nick Ramirez’s contract was selected to the major league roster by the Yankees, who optioned right-hander Greg Weissert to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Ramirez was with the RailRiders in St. Paul on Sunday and was in Boston for a series against Worcester when he got word of the callup. His original flight Tuesday was canceled. Ramirez allowed one hit in two scoreless innings.

Twins: Right-hander Brock Stewart’s contract was selected from the Saints. The 31-year-old Stewart last appeared in the majors in 2019 with Toronto. Right-hander Trevor Megill was designated fo assignment.


Yankees: Bader went 0 for 3 with a walk in his first rehab game for Scranton after a pair with Double-A Somerset. … LHP Carlos Rodón (left forearm strain) is to throw from a mound later this week, manager Aaron Boone said.

Twins: INF Kyle Farmer, who sustained a facial laceration and had to have four teeth fixed after he was hit on the face by a pitch, has been taken batting practice and fielding ground balls. Manager Rocco Baldelli said Farmer has more dental work scheduled and will need at least a week’s worth of rehab games before returning.


RHP Domingo Germán (1-2, 4.50 ERA) starts for New York and Kenta Maeda (0-3, 4.15) for Minnesota. Germán allowed one run in 6 1/3 innings against the Twins on April 15, a game that included umpires allowing him to stay in after multiple sticky substance checks, which led to an ejection of Baldelli. Maeda’s previous start was cut after two innings after he was hit on an ankle by a comebacker.