Yankees at Twins
After finishing last season with the worst record in the major leagues, the Minnesota Twins are attempting to turn things around in a huge way. Minnesota looks to grab hold of the second wild card in the American League when it hosts the New York Yankees on Tuesday for the middle contest of their three-game series.
The Twins, who were the only team to reach triple digits in losses (103) last year, posted a 4-2 triumph in Monday's opener to climb within one-half game of New York for the playoff spot. Eduardo Escobar snapped an eighth-inning tie with a pinch-hit RBI single as Minnesota remained 1 1/2 games behind Cleveland for first place in the AL Central. The Yankees fell to 2-3 on their 11-game road trip but remained 3 1/2 in back of Boston for the top spot in the AL East. Rookie phenom Aaron Judge has struggled mightily since the All-Star break, going 1-for-21 without registering an RBI, while Garrett Cooper collected three hits - two doubles - on Monday and Clint Frazier recorded his second two-hit performance in as many days.
TV: 8:10 p.m. ET, ESPN, WPIX (New York), FSN North (Minnesota)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Yankees RH Luis Cessa (0-3, 4.18 ERA) vs. Twins RH Bartolo Colon (2-8, 8.14)
Cessa remains in search of his first victory of the season as he makes his fourth overall start and first since June 29. The 25-year-old Mexican allowed four runs (two earned) on five hits and three walks over 4 2/3 innings in that outing - a road loss against the Chicago White Sox - but has worked 6 2/3 scoreless frames in a pair of relief appearances since. Cessa came out of the bullpen to face Minnesota once last year, yielding a solo homer and a walk in 1 2/3 innings.
Colon is receiving another chance to prove he still can pitch in the major leagues after a horrendous 13-start tenure with Atlanta that resulted in his release on July 4. The 44-year-old Dominican, who won 15 games with the New York Mets last season, signed a minor-league deal with the Twins three days later but was tagged for four runs over 3 2/3 innings in a start for Triple-A Rochester on Thursday. Colon owns a 6-7 record and 5.69 ERA in 19 career games (18 starts) against the Yankees.
1. Twins SS Jorge Polanco has been kept out of the starting lineup for two straight games after hitting just .103 in 11 contests this month.
2. Yankees RHP Michael Pineda will undergo Tommy John surgery on Tuesday while 1B Greg Bird will have a procedure done on his ankle and also could miss the rest of the season.
3. Six of New York's eight hits on Monday were doubles.