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Home Runs Lead to Twins Win Over Yankees

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After struggling during the first week of spring training with the bat, the Twins go three home runs on Sunday afternoon to top the New York Yankees 5-1. Joe Benson got the Twins on the board with a long, solo home run in the 5th inning. In the bottom of the 7th, Danny Valencia gave the Twins a 2-1 lead with his second home run in as many days. In the bottom of the 8th, Michael Hollimon hit a long, 3-run homer into the wind that gave the Twins the 5-1 lead. (Hollimon is now 4-6 on the spring with the Twins.)

The Twins continued to pitch well also. Nick Blackburn started and threw three scoreless innings. He gave up three hits and was helped by his defense. With speedy Brett Gardner on first base, Curtis Granderson hit a long drive to center field. When Joe Benson (who was in the lineup because Denard Span had a stiff neck) realized he couldn't make the catch, he played the ball perfectly off the wall. He uncoiled a strong throw toward the infield. Alexi Casilla grabbed the throw and relayed a perfect strike to Joe Mauer to get Gardner easily at the plate.

The bullpen was terrific again. Brian Duensing pitched a scoreless inning. Matt Capps walked one but did not allow a run. Aaron Thompson came in and gave up a run on two hits in the 6th. Jeff Manship came in and looked very sharp in a scoreless seventh inning. Carlos Gutierrez pitched the 8th frame. He consistently hit 96 mph with his fastball. He threw two offspeed pitches, neither of which was close to the strike zone. Brendan Wise gave up a single to lead off the 9th, but he got a double play and another ground out to end the game.

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