The Minnesota Twins could muster only four hits and one run against Yankee pitching ace Masahiro Tanaka Saturday afternoon, losing 3-1 at Yankee Stadium.
Twins starter Kevin Correia threw six strong innings, giving up just one run on nine hits and a walk, as he was able to work out of several jams.
But he was no match for Tanaka, who gave up four singles (two on the infield) and one unearned run over eight innings. In his first start against the Twins, Tanaka (8-1) walked two and struck out nine as he lowered his league-leading ERA to 2.06, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
The Twins scored their lone run against Tanaka in the first inning, when Brian Dozier reached first on an error by Yankee third baseman Kelly Johnson, according to MLB.com. He advanced to second base on a wild pitch, went to third on a grounder, and scored on a two-out bloop single to right by Josh Willingham.
Twins reliever Brian Duensing gave up two runs to the Yankees in the bottom of the eighth inning, which was interrupted by a 34-minute rain delay.
Jacoby Ellsbury hit a one-out single, then stole second and reached third on a what turned out to be a costly throwing error by Twins catcher Josmil Pinto, according to the Pioneer Press.
Duensing walked the next batter, then Brian McCann hit an RBI double to right field to score Ellsbury. Duensing then intentionally walked Alfonso Soriano before it started raining heavily, causing the half-hour delay. When play resumed, Twins reliever Jared Burton gave up a two-out RBI infield single to Kelly Johnson, which brought in the third run.
Twins first baseman Joe Mauer had another tough outing. In the lineup as the designated hitter, he struck out twice, in the first and third innings -- both times with runners in scoring position. He also hit into a double play and later grounded out.
The two teams play the rubber game in the series Sunday afternoon. The Twins beat the Yankees 6-1 in the series opener Friday night.