Jason Kubel’s 8th inning grand slam off of Mariano Rivera lifted the Twins past the Yankees this afternoon. A 9th inning rally by the Yanks was cut short, as the Twins escaped the Bronx with a 6-3 victory.

AP Photo/Peter Morgan

Initial Reaction:

The Yankees were unable to make the best of a pretty effective start by Sergio Mitre. Serge went 5 innings, allowing four hits, one run, one walk, and three strikeouts. Mitre constantly pounded the strike zone and consistently stayed ahead of hitters in the count. David Robertson threw two scoreless innings in relief, lowering his ERA from 10.24 to 8.49. And then the floodgates opened. Joba Chamberlain loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the eighth before being replaced by Rivera. Mo looked more like Mark Melancon this afternoon. He walked in a run and then served up a grand slam to Kubel, who pulled a 1-0 pitch into the right field seats.

The Yankees tried to rally in the ninth, starting the inning with a pair of singles off Twins closer, Jon Rauch. But Rauch recovered and struck out Derek Jeter, Brett Gardner and Mark Teixeira to hold on and avoid the sweep.

Positives From The Game:

Randy Fills In For Grandy: As Randy Winn rounded second following his line drive to right-center, I could’ve sworn it was Curtis Granderson speeding into third for a two-run triple. Clutch two-out hit for Dwight Randolph Winn.

‘Teix’-ing While Batting: Mark Teixeira continues to rake at the plate. Simply put, he can’t be cooled off. Teixeira collected two more hits today and one RBI, and he is batting .339 (21 for 62) with 20 RBIs in 15 May games after hitting .136 in April.

Negatives From The Game:

Mo’s Mistake: Mo’s 1-0 pitch was down and in, and a bit off the plate – a spot where Kubel wouldn’t make contact 9 out of 10 times. Unfortunately, this was one of other times. As perfect as Rivera often is, a hitter will sometimes just get lucky and make solid contact on a good pitch.

Missed It By That Much: Recording outs on a fielder’s choice and a strikeout in the eighth inning, Joba Chamberlain gave up an infield single to Michael Cuddyer. Cuddyer’s line drive to Gold Glove first baseman Mark Teixeira tipped off his glove, landing safely for a hit to load the bases. “Hard line drive, I jumped and extended my hand, and it couldn’t find the glove,” Teixeira said. “I’d have loved to make that play for Joba, but it didn’t happen. Line drives slice, they knuckle, they dip. You get a different one every time and that one didn’t find the glove.”

Joba Rules…Not Today!: Joba loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth, giving way to Kubel’s grand slam. His final line: 0.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 1 BB.

Interesting Facts:

4: In his illustrious career, the greatest closer of all-time has surrendered just 4 grand slams. The last came on 7/14/02 in Cleveland, and the last time Rivera surrendered a grand slam in New York was back in 1995 – when Mo was a starter.

51: Entering today’s ballgame, Rivera had converted 51-straight save opportunities at home, which was tied for the major league record set by Eric Gagne with the Dodgers.

July 4, 2007: The last time Minnesota won in the Bronx.

What’s Next?:

The Yankees begin a two-game series against Boston on Monday night.

Monday, 7:05 PM, YES/ESPN: Phil Hughes (5-0, 1.38) vs. Daisuke Matsuzaka, (2-1, 6.35)

Career Stats:
Matsuzaka vs. NY: 7 games, 7 starts; 3-3, 5.49 ERA
Hughes vs. BOS: 9 games, 3 starts; 1-2, 5.85 ERA