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Late hits lift Twins past Yankees as rain pours on Target Field

Minnesota Twins designated hitter Kennys Vargas (19) slides into home plate before New York Yankees catcher Austin Romine (27) can catch the ball in the second inning at Target Field on Monday night. Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

MINNEAPOLIS -- Eduardo Escobar's pinch-hit single snapped a tie in the eighth inning and Eddie Rosario followed with an RBI single as the Minnesota Twins held on for a 4-2 win against the New York Yankees Monday.

Rosario had two hits and drove in two runs for Minnesota, which has struggled mightily against New York for years and beat the Yankees for the seventh time in 26 all-time meetings at Target Field.

Joe Mauer and Miguel Sano each singled to lead off the eighth against New York reliever Caleb Smith (0-1), who was making his major league debut. Max Kepler couldn't get down a sacrifice bunt and ended up striking out before Escobar batted for Kennys Vargas.

Escobar stroked the second pitch he saw into left field to plate Mauer. Rosario's single drove in Sano and All-Star closer Brandon Kintzler finished off his 26th save in 29 chances in a heavy downpour in the ninth.

Taylor Rogers (5-1) allowed one hit and struck out two batters in 1 1/3 innings of relief. Minnesota's Adalberto Mejia gave up one run on five hits in 5 1/3 innings.

Smith surrendered two runs on four hits and a walk in three innings. He struck out five batters in relief of starter Bryan Mitchell.

Rookie Garrett Cooper had three hits for the Yankees.

While Mejia was stifling the Yankees offense, the Twins were giving their starter some breathing room.

Vargas walked in the second inning and scored the first run on a double to right field by Rosario.

Brian Dozier and Zack Granite led off the third with singles and Mauer walked, loading the bases for Sano. He lofted a soft liner to right field that Aaron Judge circled under and then unloaded a throw home to nab Dozier trying to score from third.

Kepler followed with a grounder to second and Mitchell dropped Starlin Castro's throw, allowing Granite to score.

Mejia struck out four of the first six batters he faced and didn't allow a hit until Cooper's infield single with one out in the third.

New York had runners on first and third in the fourth, but Castro's liner was caught by a diving Kepler in right field.

Austin Romine had an RBI double over Kepler's head in the fifth for the Yankees' first run, scoring Cooper after he doubled.

NOTES: New York manager Joe Girardi announced 1B Greg Bird is scheduled to have ankle surgery on Tuesday. Girardi said Bird will need six weeks to recover from surgery, putting his return for this season in doubt. Bird has played in 19 games this season, hitting .100. ... Minnesota LHP Hector Santiago (upper thoracic back pain) played catch Monday and is scheduled to throw bullpen sessions on Tuesday and Friday. ... Yankees RHP Michael Pineda is scheduled for Tommy John surgery in Cincinnati on Tuesday. The surgery will be performed by Reds medical director Dr. Timothy Kremcheck. ... Twins SS Jorge Polanco was out of the lineup again with Ehire Adrianza starting. Manager Paul Molitor said he wanted to give Polanco a two-day break because he felt he was "forcing the action." Polanco is in a 5-for-51 slump.