Yankees rough up Colon in Twin's debut
MINNEAPOLIS -- Didi Gregorius had three hits, including a two-run homer in a five-run fifth inning, and the New York Yankees spoiled Bartolo Colon's Minnesota debut in a 6-3 victory over the Twins on Tuesday.
Ronald Torreyes added three hits for New York. Aaron Judge had two hits, a walk, two runs and an RBI, and Gary Sanchez added two hits and two RBIs for the Yankees, who have won 11 of their past 14 games against Minnesota.
All eyes were on the 44-year-old Colon, who signed a minor league contract with Minnesota earlier this month after being released by the Atlanta Braves. The Twins are the 10th team Colon has pitched for in his career, and Minnesota was hoping he could help stabilize the back of the rotation.
Colon (2-9) gave up four runs on eight hits in four-plus innings, his ERA rising to 8.19 in 14 major league starts this season.
New York's bullpen stabilized the game after starter Luis Cessa couldn't get through the fourth inning, and the Yankees' offense finally awoke from a post-All-Star-break slump.
Chasen Shreve (3-1) yielded two hits in 1 1/3 innings. Four relievers combined for 5 1/3 scoreless innings, and Aroldis Chapman secured his 10th save in 13 chances.
The Twins left 12 runners on base and were 2-for-18 with runners in scoring position.
The early impressions of Colon's return to the American League were positive as he allowed only two hits through the first three innings and struck out Judge, Sanchez and Matt Holliday in that span.
The hits started falling in the fourth, though, and the 20-year veteran couldn't get an out in the fifth.
Judge led off the fourth with a single and came home on Chase Headley's single. Torreyes, Brett Gardner and Sanchez started the fifth with consecutive hits to chase Colon after four-plus innings. Sanchez's double plated Torreyes and Gardner.
The Yankees' fifth-inning rally continued as Judge singled off reliever Ryan Pressly. Two batters later, Gregorius lifted his 12th homer of the year.
New York's offensive surge took Cessa off the hook after the right-hander surrendered three runs on four hits and four walks.
Cessa walked the first two batters he faced in the game, hit Miguel Sano with a pitch and later walked in a run in the first.
Sano hit a hard liner to the bullpen in left-center field for his 22nd homer of the season off Cessa in the third, and Brian Dozier's RBI triple off the out-of-town scoreboard in right field added a run in the fourth.
NOTES: New York 2B Starlin Castro was given the day off for rest, manager Joe Girardi said. OF Jacoby Ellsbury was out of the lineup as well as Girardi manages some days off for his outfielders. He said OF Aaron Judge would be held out of Wednesday's lineup to give him two days off heading into the weekend series at Seattle. ... New York optioned RHP Bryan Mitchell to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to make room for Tuesday's starter, RHP Luis Cessa. ... Minnesota RHP Phil Hughes was placed on the 60-day disabled list with a recurrence of symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome. Hughes had surgery last season to remove part of a rib to alleviate the symptoms, but manager Paul Molitor said he could he headed to another surgery. ... Placing Hughes on the 60-day disabled list made room on the 40-man roster for Tuesday's starter, RHP Bartolo Colon. ... The Twins activated LHP Craig Breslow (left thoracic rib soreness) from the disabled list and optioned 1B/DH Kennys Vargas to Triple-A Rochester.