MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Andy Pettitte gave the New York Yankees yet another clutch performance in the postseason, pitching seven smooth innings in a 5-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Thursday evening for a 2-0 lead in their AL division series.
Lance Berkman hit a home run in the fifth and a go-ahead double in the seventh — right after a disputed pitch led to the ejection of Twins manager Ron Gardenhire — and sent the Twins to their 11th straight postseason loss. Eight of those have come against the Yankees, who trailed in each of those games.
The Twins haven’t won a postseason game since 2004, matching the Philadelphia Phillies (1915-1976) for the second-longest streak in history behind the Boston Red Sox (1986-1995) and their 13 in a row.
Berkman put the Yankees ahead 3-2 with his double, one pitch after it appeared Carl Pavano sneaked strike three past him. Gardenhire barked at plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt after Berkman’s hit and got tossed.
Mariano Rivera pitched the ninth for his second save of the series. Game 3 is Saturday night at Yankee Stadium.
Rangers 6, Rays 0
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Two dominating pitching performances and a long home run by playoff neophyte Michael Young have the Texas Rangers on the verge of winning a postseason series for the first time.
Young hit a three-run homer one pitch after a disputed check-swing that prompted the ejection of Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon, helping C.J. Wilson and the AL West champions beat the Rays for a 2-0 lead in their AL division series.
Texas is the only current major league franchise that’s never won a playoff series. After taking two games on the road, that can change when the best-of-five matchup shifts to Rangers Ballpark for Game 3 on Saturday.
Ian Kinsler also homered for the Rangers, who are in the playoffs for the first time since 1999.
Wilson allowed two hits in 6 2-3 innings. Relievers Darren O’Day and Darren Oliver completed the combined two-hitter before a sellout crowd of 35,535.
Rays starter James Shields allowed four runs and four hits over 4 1-3 innings.