Pinch hitter Eduardo Escobar singled home Joe Mauer in the bottom of the eighth as the Minnesota Twins dodged the oncoming downtown deluge to beat the Yankees 4-2 at Target Field on Monday night. Escobar came off the bench to hit for Kennys Vargas, and delivered the key hit against Yankees left-handed reliever Caleb Smith, who was making his big-league debut in relief of Bryan Mitchell.
Vargas was sent back to Triple-A Rochester after the game to make room for Tuesday’s starter, Bartolo Colon. The team will still have to make a 40-man roster move prior to Tuesday’s game.
Temperatures were in the 90s during pregame and 88 degrees at first pitch, but that mark dropped nearly 20 degrees late in the game as rains moved in from the north to soak both teams over the final inning. Brandon Kintzler tossed a perfect final inning with a strikeout to lock down his AL-best 26th save — tying him with Tampa Bay’s Alex Colome until the Rays won later on Monday night.
Adalberto Mejia was solid in his first start out of the All-Star break, tossing 5.1 innings of one-run ball with four strikeouts, no walks and just five hits allowed. Mejia allowed doubles to Garrett Cooper, Austin Romine and Bradley Zimmer, but was able to avoid serious damage as he threw 76 pitches with 49 going for strikes. It was also Mejia’s first game all season in which he didn’t walk a batter.
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