was visiting with a young girl at Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital on Friday, when she gave him a bracelet.
''She told me that if I kept it, I would hit a home run,'' he said. ''She said I'll hit a home run tonight. She said as long
as I have it, I'll hit a home run every at-bat, which we all know is not going to happen.''
On an strange night when
played his first game at the new Yankee Stadium, Gardner hit an unusual home run to spark a late-innings Yankees comeback.
Gardner had the first inside-the-park homer in the ballpark's young history, then tripled to start a three-run ninth inning
that carried the Yankees over the
5-4 and stopped a five-game home losing streak.
capped the rally against
(1-1) with a two-run, bases-loaded single.
''It was probably more likely for me to hit an inside-the-parker than it was to hit once over the fence, so I'm glad I could
do that for her,'' Gardner said. ''Hopefully, she was watching, it made her smile a little bit. If not, hopefully she can
see the replay and it makes her happy.''
Gardner, who won the center-field job in spring training and then lost it last month to Cabrera, wasn't even in the starting
lineup. He entered in the fourth after
was called out on strikes for the second time by umpire Wally Bell, then was ejected for drawing a line on the inside part
of the plate with his bat.
Gardner was 3 for 3, falling a double short of the cycle. On the homer, he circled the bases on a looper down the left-field
line that took a topspin bounce away from
''At first I thought I could catch it, and then I slowed up and tried to keep it to a single, and then it shot the other way,''
Gardner didn't remember the girl's name but said he recalled her face. He kept the bracelet in his locker.
''I'll take it with me everywhere I go,'' he said.
hit two solo homers off
had one against
had one as the Twins built a 4-1 lead.
also connected for New York - there have been 52 homers at Yankee Stadium, two shy of the major league record for most in
the first 14 games at a major league park.
Minnesota pitched around A-Rod, playing at home for the first time since admitting he used steroids and having hip surgery.
He was 0 for 1 with a bases-loaded strikeout and four walks, getting an ovation before his first plate appearance. He was
booed following the whiff.
''It was just nice, from early on in batting practice, walking around the city,'' Rodriguez said. ''Overall, people have been
There was some testiness when New York first baseman
yelled and pointed at
, who ran into his previously injured wrist on the fair side of the foul line on his eighth-inning sacrifice. Players converged
and screamed, but no punches were thrown.
Two innings earlier, Gomez had run past Teixeira on the same side.
''Twice in the same game, a guy is running on the grass,'' Teixeira said, ''trying to get into my way, get in the catcher's
way. The second time there is a collision. ... It happens one time, you know, it might be a mistake. But you know a guy is
purposely running on the grass. ... I've seen a lot of first basemen, a lot of second basemen, you know, ruin seasons, ruin
careers because of it.''
Gomez denied any nefarious intentions.
''I don't want to hit his glove but that's what happens. If I run inside, the first guy who is going to tell me is Gardy or
the coaches and they didn't say anything,'' he said, referring to Twins manager
. ''Everything's cool.''
Gardenhire and Yankees manager
''He defends his players; I defend mine,'' Gardenhire said. ''We're not going to fight or anything. He can outrun me, but
I think I can get away from him.''
Said Girardi: ''He started yelling at my player, and I didn't say anything to his player, and that I didn't necessarily care
New York hadn't take the lead in 48 consecutive innings in its own ballpark before the rally and its batters were 0 for 7
with runners in scoring position in the first eight innings.
Gardner began the ninth with a triple to right-center off Nathan, who blew a save for the second time in eight chances. Gardner
stumbled rounding first, but didn't think he could have stretched it into another insider the parker.
Teixeira singled, Rodriguez walked,
struck out and
hit a bouncer between first and second that Morneau snagged with a dive and turned into an out at first.
was intentionally walked to load the bases and Cabrera, who ended the first homestand with a 14th-inning homer against Oakland
on April 22, hit the first pitch into short left-center to drive in two runs. That made a winner of
''Good thing I did get kicked out,'' Damon said.
Notes: Twins 3B
left in the fifth inning because of a back spasm and tight hamstring. ... The Yankees have won 20 of their last 23 regular-season
home games against the Twins.