Minnesota Twins (23-50) at New York Yankees (36-36)
Saturday, June 25 - 1:05 PM EST
Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York
First baseman Mark Teixeira is expected to return to the lineup on Saturday afternoon when the New York Yankees continue their three-game series against the visiting Minnesota Twins. The Yankees moved back to the .500 mark with a 5-3 win in the series opener, their fourth victory in five games over Minnesota in a nine-day span.
Teixeira, sidelined since June 3 with torn cartilage in his knee, went 1-for-9 on a three-game rehab assignment and was batting .180 with three homers at the time of the injury. Teixeira's replacement, Rob Refsnyder, delivered the go-ahead RBI single Friday for New York, which has scored 41 runs during a 5-2 stretch. Catcher Kurt Suzuki is 9-for-17 with two homers, four doubles and eight RBIs during a five-game hitting streak for the Twins. Right-hander Ervin Santana looks to beat the Yankees for the second time in a week when he opposes Michael Pineda on Saturday.
TV: 1:05 p.m. ET, FSN North (Minnesota), WPIX (New York)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Twins RH Ervin Santana (2-7, 4.83 ERA) vs. Yankees RH Michael Pineda (3-7, 5.82)
Santana turned in his best effort in a month against the Yankees on Sunday, permitting three runs (two earned) on six hits over 7 1/3 innings to earn his first victory since May 14. It snapped a five-start losing streak for Santana, who gave up 24 runs and seven homers during the skid and at least nine hits in three of the five outings. Santana is 6-9 overall versus New York and has never won at the new Yankee Stadium, posting an 0-4 record and 8.14 ERA.
Pineda's season of inconsistency continued in last weekend's start against the Yankees, when he matched his season high with nine strikeouts but also gave up four runs (three earned) in 5 1/3 innings in a no-decision. He turned in a quality start in each of his previous two outings, taking a hard-luck loss versus Detroit on June 12 after giving up two runs in six innings. Pineda has made four career starts against the Twins, going 1-1 with a 4.09 ERA.
1. The Yankees are 24-4 this season when scoring at least five runs.
2. The Twins traded OF Oswaldo Arcia to Tampa Bay on Friday for a player to be named later or cash.
3. Yankees RF Carlos Beltran had an RBI double to give him 518 two-baggers, good for 49th place on the all-time list.
PREDICTION: Yankees 5, Twins 4