Refsnyder, Tanaka leads Yankees past Minnesota

NEW YORK -- Rob Refsnyder had the tiebreaking single, Masahiro Tanaka struck out seven in six innings and the New York Yankees reached the .500 mark again with a 5-3 victory over the Minnesota Twins.Refsnyder, who has been playing first base for ...

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New York Yankees right fielder Carlos Beltran hits an RBI double to left during the second inning against the Minnesota Twins Friday at Yankee Stadium. (Photo by Anthony Gruppuso / USA TODAY Sports)

NEW YORK - Rob Refsnyder had the tiebreaking single, Masahiro Tanaka struck out seven in six innings and the New York Yankees reached the .500 mark again with a 5-3 victory over the Minnesota Twins.
Refsnyder, who has been playing first base for the first time because of Mark Teixeira’s knee injury, gave the Yankees a 4-3 lead with two outs in the fourth inning against Tommy Milone (0-2).
Before Refsnyder’s eighth RBI in 21 games, the Yankees also scored on an RBI double by Carlos Beltran, a run-scoring single by Alex Rodriguez and a sacrifice fly by Austin Romine.
Tanaka (5-2) made those runs stand by allowing three runs and seven hits. He pitched with men on base in each of his last five innings but wiggled out of each situation, getting two strikeouts to end the third, a groundout in the fourth and a double play to end the sixth.
Those hits and Tanaka’s ability to escape trouble put the Yankees (36-36) at .500 for the fifth time since May 24. It also enabled to Yankees to get their hard-throwing trio of Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman into the same game for the 11th time this season.
Betances and Miller did not allow a ball out of the infield while throwing a combined 24 pitches in the seventh and eighth in a one-run game.
After Aaron Hicks hit a one-out home run in the eighth, Chapman threw his first 10 pitches more than 100 mph in a perfect ninth for his 14th save in 15 chances.
Eduardo Nunez had a two-run single and Byron Buxton had a run-scoring groundout for the Twins (23-50), who became the first team in the majors to reach 50 losses after committing three errors.
The Twins tied a season high for errors as shortstop Eduardo Escobar, first baseman Joe Mauer made fielding miscues while left fielder Robbie Grossman was charged with a throwing error.
Milone allowed four runs (one earned) and six hits in 3 2/3 innings in his first major league start since May 3.
With nobody out in the third, the Twins had runners at second and third after Buxton doubled off the right-field wall. Nunez cleared the bases by lining a single up the middle for a 2-0 lead but the Twins stranded runners at first and second when Tanaka struck out Brian Dozier and Max Kepler.
Two Minnesota errors helped the Yankees tie it in the third.
After Romine reached on Escobar’s error and was later forced at second, Brett Gardner scored from first standing up on Beltran’s double to left field. Beltran scored on Rodriguez’s single to the left and the designated hitter took second on an error by Grossman.
Minnesota took a 3-2 lead on Buxton’s RBI groundout in the fourth.
The Yankees loaded the bases with nobody out in the fourth on a walk, a bunt infield single and fielding error by first baseman Joe Mauer. New York tied it on a sacrifice fly by Romine, went ahead on a bloop single by Refsnyder and chased Milone when Beltran walked to load the bases again.
The inning ended when Rodriguez struck out swinging against Neil Ramirez.

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