In technically the second Yankee game of the day, the New York Yankees were victorious over the Minnesota Twins, 3-2. Andy Pettitte picked up the win and Mariano Rivera got his second save of the day. With the win and the Tampa Bay Ray loss, the Yankees moved to within 3.5 games of the lead in the AL East.

AP Photo / Andy King

Initial Reaction:

Andy Pettitte was vintage Andy Pettitte tonight. He out-dueled Twins’ lefty Francisco Liriano in a pitcher’s battle. Pettitte scattered eight hits over eight innings. He also struck out four and walked none. Mariano Rivera found his command in his brief break, picking up his second save.

Positives From The Game:

Switching the Lineup: Joe Girardi went with a new lineup tonight, batting Nick Swisher second and Brett Gardner ninth. It worked out well for both parties, with Swisher and Gardner going 4 for 9 with Swisher hitting the game-winning solo shot in the top of the ninth and Gardner hitting an RBI-triple in the top of the sixth.

Shame on you, Rick: ESPN analyst Rick Sutcliffe titled Yankee catcher Francisco Cervelli a “double-play threat” when he came up to bat in the fourth inning with one out. In turn, Cervelli hit a hard ground ball to Brendan Harris at third, but beat out the double play turn by Orlando Hudson. People assume Cervi is slow simply because he is a catcher, but not only does he hustle every time up, he has some speed.

Paying the Price: After the fielder’s choice by Cervelli, Kevin Russo muscled a double down the left field line on a full count. These are the runs the Yankees need to be successful in the long run.

The Escape Artist: After allowing runners on first and third with no outs in the bottom of the eighth, it appeared Andy Pettitte was in trouble for the first time tonight. However, he snagged a line drive from Orlando Hudson. Then, he induced a 6-4-3 double play from the 2009 Major League Batting Champion, Joe Mauer. He’s not a top twenty pitcher, but I don’t know who else I want on the mound in a pressure situation.

Negatives From The Game:

RISP: Yet again, the Yankees struggled with runners in scoring position. The Yankees went 0-8 with RISP and left nine men on base. Leaving runners on base is a bad way of keeping the score lower then it should be.

Interesting Facts:

4: Number of visits to the mound by Twins’ catcher Drew Butera with Francisco Liriano on the mound. Another factor that draws out Yankee games that isn’t the Yankees’ fault.

.579: Career average of Delmon Young against Andy Pettitte.

6’11: At six feet eleven inches, Twins’ closer Jon Rauch is the tallest player in Major League history.

2: Going into today, the Yankees had one victory on the season by one run. Today, in four hours, they picked up 2.

What’s Next?:

The Yankees and the Twins will finish their series tomorrow evening at 8:10 PM. The game can be viewed on the YES Network.

Projected Starters:

Javier Vazquez (3-4, 6.69 ERA) vs. Nick Blackburn (5-1, 4.50 ERA)