The Yankees tend to beat up on the Twins even when they are playoff-bound — and then crush them even more in October.
So when a struggling edition of the Twins arrived in The Bronx on Thursday, they naturally just served as more fodder for the red-hot Yankees.
With a spark from the bottom of their lineup and another solid start from Jameson Taillon, the Yankees ran out to a big lead and then hung on for their seventh straight win, 7-5.
The Yankees (70-52) improved to 26-10 against the Twins (54-68) since the start of 2015 — not including a perfect 4-0 against them in the 2017 and 2019 playoffs.
They were on their way to a rare laugher with a 6-0 lead before the Twins got to Taillon for three quick runs in the sixth inning.
Zack Britton gave up another run in the eighth that made it 6-4 but worked out of trouble by striking out Josh Donaldson (0-for-4). Giancarlo Stanton got the run back in the bottom of the inning when he lined a solo home run to the short porch.
Chad Green then gave up a solo homer to Miguel Sano in the ninth but still secured the save, a day after Aroldis Chapman came off the injured list and struggled in the ninth inning.
On a night when the Yankees had thumpers in each of the top five spots in their lineup — Luke Voit, Anthony Rizzo, Aaron Judge, Joey Gallo and Stanton — it was Andrew Velazquez (No. 7) and Kyle Higashioka (No. 8) who served as the sparkplugs.
Velazquez got the Yankees’ offense going in the third inning, staying hot and leading off with a triple drilled to the gap in right-center field. The Bronx native came around to score on a double by Higashioka for the 1-0 lead.
After Twins starter John Gant walked No. 9 hitter Tyler Wade, Voit made him pay by roping a double down the left-field line to make it 3-0. Voit took third on the throw home, which allowed him to score on Rizzo’s sacrifice fly to put the Yankees up 4-0.
The Velazquez/Higashioka combination delivered again in the fourth inning. Velazquez led off with a single and then stole second base. It gave him 90 feet less to jog when Higashioka crushed a two-run home run to left field for the 6-0 lead.
Taillon, meanwhile, gave up a harmless first-inning single before cruising, retiring 14 straight batters into the sixth inning. That streak was snapped when Jake Cave got hold of a fastball and deposited it in the left-field seats to get the Twins on the board.
It was the first of four straight hits by the Twins — adding an Andrelton Simmons single and back-to-back doubles by Max Kepler and Jorge Polanco — to make it a 6-3 game and knock Taillon out after 5 ¹/₃ innings.
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