(Sports Network) - The Minnesota Twins seemed to relish their role as spoilers
this past weekend. On Monday they get another chance at a potential playoff
team when they open a three-game set with the New York Yankees at Target
Minnesota lost the opener of its series with the Detroit Tigers on Saturday,
but managed to sweep both ends of a doubleheader on Sunday, taking the first
game, 10-4, before winning the night cap, 2-1, in 10 innings.
"All you can ask for is playing games like that in September," said reliever
Jared Burton, who was the winning pitcher in game two. "Whether we're spoiling
or whether we're vying for a spot in the playoffs, it's still fun and we're
On Monday, though, the Twins go up against the American League East-leading
Yankees, who have beaten them in 25 of the last 31 meetings. Plus they face
Andy Pettitte, who has won nine straight decisions - including the playoffs -
against the Twins and hasn't lost to them since April 30, 2001.
Pettitte returned from the disabled list to toss five scoreless innings and
beat Toronto on Wednesday, as he improved to 4-3 to go along with a 2.97 ERA.
It was his first start since a line drive fractured his leg back on June 27.
"My arm feels great and my break area feels great," Pettitte said. "I'm 100
percent and just real happy with how my arm is feeling. More than anything,
it's my legs. I just have to get my legs back in shape."
New York was denied a series sweep over the Oakland Athletics and had a seven-
game winning streak stopped on Sunday, as it dropped a 5-4 decision after
taking the first two games of the set in extra innings.
Nick Swisher hit a two-run homer in defeat. Hiroki Kuroda (14-11) lost for the
first time in four starts, yielding five runs -- four earned -- on seven hits
in 5 2/3 innings.
"It's a disappointing loss, but you move on and prepare for tomorrow," said
Yankees manager Joe Girardi.
The Yankees still lead the division by a game over the Baltimore Orioles.
Heading to the hill for the Twins will be righty Liam Hendriks, who is 1-7
with a 5.88 ERA. Hendriks picked up his first win on Wednesday in Cleveland,
limiting the Indians to a pair of runs in six innings.
He has never faced the Yankees.
Despite New York's recent success versus the Twins, it is just 2-2 against
them this season.
The Sports Network