MINNEAPOLIS — Gerrit Cole got back on track with six sharp innings amid the hubbub in the game around pitcher grip aids, and Giancarlo Stanton hit two of the New York Yankees’ four home runs to fuel a 9-6 victory Wednesday night over the Minnesota Twins.
Cole (7-3) won for the first time in three starts, allowing solo homers to Jorge Polanco and Miguel Sanó among five hits without a walk. Polanco hit a two-run shot in a four-run ninth for the Twins.
Cole reserved two of his nine strikeouts for Josh Donaldson, who recently questioned whether the three-time All-Star right-hander and others have unfairly helped their cause with sticky substances on their fingers that cross the lines of even competition.
Aaron Judge and Miguel Andújar also took Twins starter Randy Dobnak (1-6) deep on a hot and humid night that had the ball jumping off the bat.
Dobnak, the former Uber-driving underdog who pitched in the playoffs at Yankee Stadium two years ago, surrendered career highs for runs (eight), homers (four) and walks (three) over 4 2/3 innings. Dobnak gave up 11 hits.
Stanton had three of them on his way to the 34th multi-homer game of his career and second of the season. He hit a three-run shot in the third inning and a two-run homer in the fifth, both following walks to Gleyber Torres.
This was also the 10th time in four years playing together, including the postseason, that Judge and Stanton both went deep in the same game. The Yankees have won each of them.
Entering the series, the Yankees had lost 10 of 13 games and four in a row, but leave it to a visit to Target Field to get them going. They’re 28-11 here all time, including 3-0 in the playoffs. As the fans in Minnesota are all too well aware, the Yankees are 105-37, including 16-2 in the playoffs, against the Twins over the last 20 seasons.
Brett Gardner, the only Yankees player who was around when the ballpark opened in 2010, had his first three-hit game of the year, including an RBI double. Andújar socked his fifth homer in eight games as the Yankees matched their season high with 15 hits. The second-lowest scoring team in the American League, the Yankees have 40 hits over their last three games.
COLE VS. DONALDSON
Donaldson only made contact once against Cole, a flyout in the sixth inning. Cole hit 100 mph with a four-seam fastball during Donaldson’s first at-bat.
Last week, after news leaked that four minor league pitchers had been suspended for using illegal substances on the mound, the spin rates on Cole’s pitchers were markedly down, according to Major League Baseball’s Statcast data. Donaldson wondered aloud in an interview session with reporters whether that was a coincidence. Cole said it was, attributing the drop-off to mechanical flaws, after allowing five runs in five innings of a loss to Tampa Bay.
Players around the game are bracing for a crackdown on the sticky stuff that can make balls easier for pitchers to grip, faster to spin and harder to hit.
Sanó had three hits for the Twins, including an RBI single in the ninth, and tied Joe Mauer for 11th place on the team’s career list with his 143rd home run. Gilberto Celestino produced his first major league hit, one of four against Brooks Kriskie in the ninth.
Yankees: Manager Aaron Boone expressed no concern about a rough start to LHP Zack Britton’s rehab assignment at Triple-A in his comeback from elbow surgery.
Twins: OF Kyle Garlick (sports hernia) became the 12th player on the team’s injured list before the game. Celestino was summoned again from across the river in Triple-A St. Paul to play CF in the all-rookie outfield. Later in the game, Nick Gordon became the seventh player to appear in CF this season for Minnesota. … Byron Buxton, who’s close to returning to CF after more than a month away due to a strained right hip, was scratched from the St. Paul lineup as a post-rain delay precaution.
RHP Michael King (0-3, 3.62 ERA) takes the mound Thursday as the Yankees try to complete their third sweep of the season. They’ll face a former teammate in LHP J.A. Happ (3-2, 5.61).
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