MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -Desperate for a win, manager
went to one of the few players who has shown any kind of consistency for the
New York Yankees
blew a save for the first time all year.
But just when it looked as though nothing could go right for these stunned and scuffling Yankees, something finally did.
hit a go-ahead homer in the 12th inning and the Yankees overcame
's tying shot off Rivera in the eighth, beating the
9-6 Tuesday night.
''We haven't seen Mo do that all year,'' Girardi said. ''It's strange when it happens, but obviously you have to find a way
to win the game.''
added a two-run shot later in the 12th, also off
(6-6), to help New York end a four-game skid - its longest this season.
hit a leadoff homer and finished with three hits. He also scored twice.
Rodriguez was 0-for-5 when he stepped to the plate with one out and nobody on in the 12th, having slammed his helmet down
in disgust after grounding out to end the ninth.
His drive easily cleared the center-field fence, and A-Rod flipped his bat before commencing a slow trot around the bases.
He called it his biggest hit of the year.
''Without a question,'' Rodriguez said. ''We had to stop the bleeding.''
This one was anything but easy, though.
Behind another solid outing from
, New York led 6-3 when Rivera came to the mound with two on and one out in the eighth. Game over, right? Not so fast.
Perhaps the greatest closer in baseball history, Rivera was off to a career-best 28-for-28 start to the season on save chances.
But he left a cutter out over the plate and Young made him pay with the first homer by a Twins batter off Rivera.
''I was thinking, hopefully it goes foul,'' Rivera said. ''It didn't go foul. So we have to battle and preserve the tie game.''
Battle he did. Rivera pitched 1 2-3 innings,
(3-1) worked two innings for the win and
earned his first save.
''Frustrating to play 4 1/2 hours and lose,'' said Twins catcher
, who filled in for All-Star
after he came to the park with a stiff neck.
Young had three hits and scored three runs for the Twins, who couldn't overcome their fourth deficit of the night in the 12th
inning against Ramirez.
finished 0-for-4 with an intentional walk and Twins hitters went 0-for-9 in the 10th, 11th and 12th. Minnesota fell out of
first place in the AL Central again, a half-game behind Chicago.
''Delmon hitting the big three-run homer, that was pretty doggone exciting,'' Twins manager
said. ''It's just unfortunate that we couldn't come up with another run after that.''
A loss Tuesday could have been a major blow to the Yankees, who haven't missed the postseason since 1993. They moved within
eight games of first-place Tampa Bay in the AL East and remained five behind Boston in the wild-card standings by winning
for only the sixth time in 17 games.
''We hit into five double plays, Mo gives up three runs,'' Rodriguez said. ''You see things you've never seen before when
you're going through struggles like we are right now. And you really come to expect the unexpected. You just have to battle
Notes: Yankees SS
left the game in the ninth with a bruised instep. Girardi said he expects Jeter to play Wednesday. ... Yankees RHP
made a rehab start for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He allowed two runs and three hits with four strikeouts and a walk
in 5 1-3 innings against Pawtucket. ... RHP
's rehab start for Double-A Trenton on Tuesday didn't go as well. He gave up seven hits, including two homers, and five runs
in 4 1-3 innings. He also hit two batters with pitches. ... Yankees DH-LF
will run the bases for the second time Wednesday. That puts him on course to start a rehab assignment as soon as Friday. ...
snapped an 0-for-13 skid with a double in the fifth.