Series: Game 3 of 4

NY Yankees leads 2-1 (as of 6/1)

Game 1: Friday, May 30
NY Yankees6Final
Game 2: Saturday, May 31
NY Yankees7Final
in 12
Game 3: Sunday, June 1
NY Yankees1Final
Game 4: Monday, June 2
NY Yankees5Final

Yankees 1

(28-28, 14-16 away)

Twins 5

(29-27, 17-14 home)

    2:10 PM ET, June 1, 2008

    Mall of America Field, Minneapolis, Minnesota 

    123456789 R H E
    NYY 000010000 1 8 1
    MIN 20010110 - 5 9 0

    W: B. Bass (2-1)

    L: D. Rasner (3-2)

    Yankees-Twins Preview


    With a surging offense, a healthier roster and -- finally -- a winning record, the New York Yankees are in much better shape than they were at this time last season.

    They hope that means they're still on track for a 14th consecutive postseason appearance.

    The Yankees will look to open June with a fourth straight win as they continue their four-game series on Sunday against the Minnesota Twins at the Metrodome.

    Last year's Yankees were just 22-29 and seven games out of a playoff spot at the end of May, but their torrid second half still earned them a wild card berth.

    New York (28-27) has also played below expectations for much of this season, slipping at times to last place in the competitive AL East. The Yankees were five games under .500 after a four-game losing streak midway through May, but since then, they've won eight of their last 10 games, with their once-slumping offense scoring six or more runs seven times over that span.

    After Bobby Abreu's 12th-inning single sparked them to a 7-6 win at Minnesota on Saturday, they moved above .500 for the first time since they were 17-16.

    "I knew in my heart we were a much better club than what we were playing," manager Joe Girardi told the Yankees' official Web site. "We weren't playing well, and when you have the talent level we have, you should play better. That's exactly what we're doing."

    They'll hope to get a pair of boosts this week, when right-hander Joba Chamberlain enters the starting rotation and catcher Jorge Posada is expected to return from a shoulder injury.

    But in the meantime, they'll try to continue their hot streak. Every batter hit safely on Saturday after the team pounded out 16 hits in Friday's 6-5 victory.

    "It's great. Hopefully we're not done," center fielder Johnny Damon said.

    They also hope Darrell Rasner isn't finished with his own run of quality starts. Rasner (3-1, 1.80 ERA) lost Monday despite allowing just one run in six innings at Baltimore, but he's still allowed two or fewer runs in each of his four starts this season.

    Rasner had that same line -- one run in six innings -- in his only career start against the Twins, earning a win on Sept. 3, 2006.

    Minnesota rookie Nick Blackburn (4-3, 3.39) has never faced New York, but he'll do so coming off the longest outing of his career. The right-hander didn't allow a run through eight innings at Kansas City on Tuesday, but he gave up two runs in the ninth before exiting with one out. He did not get a win after the Royals tied the game against closer Joe Nathan.

    "I finally felt sharp up on the mound," Blackburn told his team's official Web site. "Everything felt like it was coming out of my hand well tonight. It doesn't really matter about being a factor in the decision. I kept my team in it, and that's basically all a starter is asked to do."

    The Twins had won four straight before the Yankees arrived in Minneapolis, but the Metrodome hasn't been kind to the home team recently. They've now lost four straight and seven of nine there.

    New York has won five of its last six at Minnesota.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Gameday Matchup

     New YorkMinnesota
    Current StreakL1L1
    Last 108-25-5

    Pitching Matchup

    New YorkMinnesota
    D. Rasner
    5-10, 5.40 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/28 at BOS
    2.0 IP, 2 ER
    Dec = ND
    N. Blackburn
    11-11, 4.05 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/30 at CWS
    6.1 IP, 1 ER
    Dec = Loss

    Gameday Lineups

    NO.New YorkMinnesota
    1. J. Damon, LF C. Gomez, CF
    2. D. Jeter, SS A. Casilla, 2B
    3. B. Abreu, RF M. Redmond, C
    4. A. Rodriguez, 3B J. Morneau, 1B
    5. H. Matsui, DH M. Cuddyer, RF
    6. W. Betemit, 1B J. Kubel, DH
    7. R. Cano, 2B D. Young, LF
    8. C. Moeller, C M. Lamb, 3B
    9. M. Cabrera, CF B. Harris, SS