David Robertson failed to pick up his 13th save of the season, giving up five runs in the top of the 9th, as the Twins would score six runs in the inning to take down the Yankees, 7-2, on Sunday afternoon at Yankee Stadium, getting Phil Hughes his 6th win of the year in his first start against the Yankees in the Bronx.
With the Yankees up 2-1, Josh Willingham opened the 9th with a game-tying, solo homerun off of Robertson, and that was only the beginning. Robertson struck out two of the next three batters, but walked a pair to put runners on-base with two outs. Brian Dozier then doubled to put the Twins up 3-2, and after Robertson intentionally walked Joe Mauer, Joe Girardi finally took him out of the game.
Matt Daley come on, gave up a two-run double to Eduardo Nunez, the only batter he faced, then Matt Thornton gave up a two-run single to Oswaldo Arcia, extending the Twins' lead to 7-2.
The Twins took the first lead of the game, scoring off of Whitley in the 3rd inning. Aaron Hicks opened the frame with a single to left field, moved to second base on a ground out, then two batters later, came around to score on a Trevor Plouffe single to left field, giving Phil Hughes a lead to work with in his first start as a visitor at Yankee Stadium.
Hughes held the Yankees hitless through the first three innings before Brett Gardner opened the 4th with a triple off of the right-center field wall. Derek Jeter followed Gardner with a single to tie the game, 1-1. Jacoby Ellsbury singled and Brian McCann drew his second walk of the game to load the bases with one out, but the Yankees only put one more run on the board on an Ichiro sac-fly that brought home Jeter, giving the Yankees a 2-1 lead.
Those were the only two runs that Hughes would give up because, just like he has been all season in his first year as a Twin, he pitched very well, giving up just three hits eight innings, while walking two and striking out six in the complete-game effort. If only Hughes had done this more often during his Yankee years, he'd probably still be in pinstripes.
Whitley, on the other hand, was pretty good, too. He gave up the 3rd inning, but pretty good around that, giving up just five hits with six strikeouts and no walks over five innings. Whitley has now made four starts in his big league career, and unlike most rookie starter for the Yankees -- Masahiro Tanaka aside, obviously -- there has been very little to dislike about him.
Dellin Betances entered the game to start the 6th inning, and guess what, he was super duper impressive once again, striking out five of the six batters that he faced, throwing just 22 pitches in two full innings of work. This kid is hella good, he should be going to the All-Star Game in Minnesota this season, and should probably get a chance to close or pitch the 8th inning soon.
Adam Warren followed with a scoreless 8th inning, the Robertson went on to do his thing in the 9th.
This was a terrible loss for the Yankees, who were just three outs away from sealing the sixth victory in their last eight game. But instead, they gave up six runs in the 9th and lost by five, mainly because they only got three hits off of Hughes. The offense is struggling, and the Yankees aren't going to win many game when they aren't scoring runs, regardless of how they're pitching.