Holy Moly! Blue Jays reportedly acquire Troy Tulowitzki

(Harry How/Getty)
(Harry How/Getty)

Well this is a blockbuster. According to both Ken Rosenthal and Jon Heyman, the Blue Jays have acquired Troy Tulowitzki from the Rockies. No word on what Toronto is sending to Colorado, but I’m sure the package involves many top prospects. Wowza.

The Blue Jays already have a pretty good middle infield with Jose Reyes and Devon Travis, but Tulo is way better than both, so yeah. I wonder if Travis is in the package going to the Rockies with Reyes sliding over to second. He played second earlier in his career in deference to Kaz Matsui, remember.

Either way, the Blue Jays have emerged as the Yankees’ biggest threat in the AL East since the All-Star break, and they just got a whole lot better. The best offense in baseball got better, I should say. Toronto still needs pitching, but Tulowitzki is a major addition and will help a ton this year and in the future.

Update: Rosenthal says Reyes, not Travis, is in the package going to the Rockies. Unexpected! It’s Reyes and a bunch of minor league guys for Tulo. I wonder if the Rockies will flip Reyes somewhere else now, sorta like when the Marlins had Mike Piazza.

DotF: Fowler has a big day in Tampa’s doubleheader

Got a whole bunch of notes to pass along:

  • Keith Law (subs. req’d) caught Double-A Trenton over the weekend and said RHP Brady Lail “showed a solid-average fastball/curveball combination and pounded the zone all night … He’s a fair ground ball guy now who throws a lot of strikes, and could profile as a fifth starter with a better third pitch — he’s a good candidate for a difference in splits given his arm slot — or a good two-pitch reliever if not.”
  • The Yankees were planning to call up RHP Bryan Mitchell for tomorrow’s spot start, but he fell and hit his head in the weight room last week, Joe Girardi told Bryan Hoch. His most recent start for Triple-A Scranton had to pushed back (Mitchell’s fine now) and he no longer lined up for Tuesday. Womp womp.
  • RHP Chris Martin has been placed on the Triple-A Scranton DL, reports Chad Jennings. Martin had elbow trouble earlier this year but it’s unclear if that’s the problem. If nothing else, the Yankees are out one depth arm for the foreseeable future.
  • RHP Andrew Bailey has been activated off the Double-A Trenton temporarily inactive list, so says Matt Kardos. Also, RHP Joel De La Cruz has been bumped up to Triple-A Scranton, replacing Martin on the roster.
  • RHP Jonathan Holder was officially activated off the High-A Tampa DL, according to Nick Flammia. I’m not sure what was wrong with him, but he missed about six weeks. RHP Chris Smith was released to clear a roster spot.
  • And finally, check out this Josh Norris article on OF Slade Heathcott, who is currently on a minor league rehab assignment. Heathcott spoke about all the adversity he’s dealt with (on and off the field) and how he’s learned to deal with everything.

Triple-A Scranton (3-1 loss to Lehigh Valley)

  • CF Ben Gamel: 1-4, 1 K — threw a runner out at second … what, no two hits and a triple?
  • 2B Jose Pirela: 1-4
  • RF Aaron Judge: 0-3, 1 BB
  • 1B Greg Bird: 0-4, 1 K
  • C Gary Sanchez: 1-4 — he’s hitting sixth … this is easily the most prospect-laden I can ever remember the Triple-A affiliate, at least position player-wise
  • LF Tyler Austin: 1-3 — threw a runner out at third
  • RHP Esmil Rogers: 5.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 5 BB, 6 K, 1 Balk, 4/1 GB/FB — 54 of 98 pitches were strikes (55%)
  • RHP Jose Ramirez: 2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 1/1 GB/FB — 24 of 36 pitches were strikes (67%) … 18/3 K/BB in his last 15.1 innings
  • LHP James Pazos: 1.1 IP, zeroes, 2 K, 0/2 GB/FB — eleven of 21 pitches were strikes (52%)

[Read more…]

Yankees celebrate A-Rod’s 40th birthday with a 6-2 win over the Rangers

Happy birthday, A-Rod. Alex Rodriguez turned 40 on Monday and the Yankees celebrated with a crisp 6-2 win over his former team, the Rangers. They’ve won eight of ten games since the All-Star break and now have a season-high seven-game lead in the AL East. Their magic number to clinch the division is 58. Oh yeah, I just went there.


Fighting Spirit
Isn’t it wonderful a two-run lead is no longer insurmountable? Hooray for having a real offense. The Yankees fell behind 2-0 early in Tuesday’s game but battled back to not only tie the game in the next half-inning, they took the lead. The bottom of the order did all the heavy lifting too. Remember earlier this year when the Yankees lived and died with the top of the order? That’s not the case any longer.

Chase Headley opened the top of the third with a sharp single to right, and Didi Gregorius followed with a first pitch home run off Matt Harrison. It wasn’t a no-doubter, but he hit it hard, and the ball carried over the fence to right. It was Didi’s first career homer off a southpaw and his first homer of the season away from Yankee Stadium‘s short porch. The Yankees fell behind 2-0 and tied the game three pitches into the next half inning. Love this team.

Gregorius merely tied the game though. The Yankees scored their third run thanks to a Brendan Ryan triple. A triple! It was his third extra-base hit of the season. He had four all of last year. Brett Gardner walked to put runners on the corners and lefty masher Chris Young plated Ryan with a deep sac fly to left field. The Yankees hit Harrison pretty hard in the first two innings but had nothing to show for it. Didi and Ryan were rewarded in the third.


Ivan The Terribly Mediocre
Would you believe me if I told you Ivan Nova had two 1-2-3 innings in his five innings of work? It’s true. Sure didn’t seem like it though. It felt like Nova was in trouble all night, especially in his final two innings, yet he escaped with just two runs allowed. Both runs came with two outs in the second — Josh Hamilton blooped a single, Elvis Andrus ripped a double to left to score Hamilton, and Leonys Martin shot a ground ball single back through the box to score Andrus. Texas took a quick two-zip lead.

The fourth inning had the potential to be very bad. Very very bad. The inning started with a booming Mitch Moreland double to left, and Adrian Beltre moved him to third with a ground out. Nova walked the nearly unwalkable Hamilton to put men on the corners, then he plunked Andrus to load the bases with one out. Scary! Nova escaped the jam thanks in part to Mark Teixeira — he fielded Martin’s chopper and got the force out at the plate for the second out. Robinson Chirinos grounded out to end the threat.

All told, Nova allowed those two runs on five hits, two walks, and a hit batsman. Remember, he had two 1-2-3 innings, so the eight base-runners were bunched together in the three other innings. Nova threw 75 pitches and left the game with what Joe Girardi called “arm fatigue,” which is, uh, no bueno, especially since Ivan seemed to be missing 2-3 mph off his heater. Hopefully it’s just a post Tommy John surgery dead arm phase. For what it’s worth, Nova said there’s no pain, just fatigue. We’ll see.


Tack-On Runs
It did not feel like three runs would be enough given the way Nova was pitching. That and the fact it was about a thousand degrees in Arlington and the ball carried well all night. A-Rod, the birthday boy, plated the first insurance run with a sixth inning solo homer on a down and away pitch from the lefty Harrison. Alex went down and poked it out to right field. Lovely piece of hitting, that was.

One inning later, Gregorius drove in two more runs with a solid single to right off lefty reliever Sam Freeman. Two hits against a lefty! Didi came into the game hitting .184 against southpaws this season. Carlos Beltran (walk) and Headley (double) set the rally up for Gregorius, who drove in four of the team’s six runs. The bottom third of the order went a combined 7-for-12 (.583) with a double, a triple, and a homer. What a world.


I’m not sure why Girardi used Dellin Betances in the ninth rather than Andrew Miller. Dellin pitched Sunday (only five pitches, but still) and probably won’t be available for the bullpen game Tuesday. Miller ended up warming up anyway. Anyway, Betances (scoreless ninth), Justin Wilson (scoreless eighth), and Chasen Shreve (scoreless sixth and seventh) closed out the win. They each walked one. No hits allowed. Six strikeouts. Door: slammed.

Headley and Gregorius led the way with three hits apiece. Headley’s been on fire since the All-Star break. Didi hasn’t been so bad of late either. A-Rod, Teixeira, Ryan, Young, and Brian McCann had one hit apiece. Gardner drew one walk and Beltran drew two. The Yankees struck out just three times as a team.

Teixeira had the most backwards 1-for-4 ever. He was robbed of a homer by Martin, smashed a line drive at Andrus, flew out loudly to the warning track in right, and then he picked up a dinky ground ball single on a two-strike protect swing. Baseball.

And finally, A-Rod is now the sixth player in the expansion era to play in the big leagues as both as a teenager and a 40-year-old. He joins Rusty Staub, Gary Sheffield, Bill Buckner, Ken Griffey Jr., and Tim Raines. Neato.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
Here are the box score and video highlights, and here are the updated standings and postseason odds. Also make sure you check out our Bullpen Workload and Announcer Standings pages because I do indeed update them every day. Here’s the win probability graph:

Source: FanGraphs

Up Next
The Yankees and Rangers will play game two of this four-game series Tuesday night. Chris Capuano will start that game, Joe Girardi announced. They’re inserting a sixth starter just to give the rest of the rotation an extra day of rest. Lefty Martin Perez will start for Texas.

Game 98: The Big 4-0


Today is Alex Rodriguez‘s 40th birthday. He was only 28 years old when the Yankees originally got him in the trade with the Rangers. Man, time flies. The coolest part is that A-Rod is playing like a 28-year-old this year, at least at the plate. He doesn’t play the field anymore and running is a challenge, but he’s mashing and I love it. The Summer of Al is in full swing.

Alex will get to celebrate his 40th birthday back in Texas where the locals will boo him like he kicked their dog, not cheer him like a guy who hit 156 homers in three years and won an MVP in their uniform. Whatever. A-Rod gets booed everywhere. As he said earlier this year, the last 15 years have been one long boo. Let’s celebrate Al’s birthday with a win, mmmkay? Here is the Rangers’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. CF Brett Gardner
  2. LF Chris Young
  3. DH Alex Rodriguez
  4. 1B Mark Teixeira
  5. C Brian McCann
  6. RF Carlos Beltran
  7. 3B Chase Headley
  8. SS Didi Gregorius
  9. 2B Brendan Ryan
    RHP Ivan Nova

It’s sunny and extremely hot in Arlington — temperatures were over 100 degrees earlier today and it’ll still be north of 90 for the game. Gross. Tonight’s game is scheduled to begin at 8:05pm ET and you can watch on YES locally and ESPN nationally. Enjoy.

Roster Move: Gregorio Petit cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Scranton, the Yankees announced. He can now elect free agency. Petit was designated for assignment a few days ago to clear a 40-man roster spot for Nick Goody.

Injury Update: Jacoby Ellsbury “jammed the shoulder pretty good” running into the wall while making a catch yesterday, but said today he’s fine and was scheduled to get the day off anyway. The Yankees will face a lefty starter tonight and tomorrow, so they could sit Ellsbury and play Young tomorrow to give him one extra day if they want.

2015 Trade Deadline Open Thread: Monday

Hamels. (David Banks/Getty)
Hamels. (David Banks/Getty)

The 2015 non-waiver trade deadline is this coming Friday at 4pm ET. The Yankees are currently 55-42 with a +34 run differential on the season, giving them a 6.5-game lead in the AL East. FanGraphs puts their postseason odds at a healthy 93.1%. Despite that, the roster could use some reinforcements, particularly at second base and on the mound.

“We’ve had conversations with every club willing to sell, finding out what they’re willing to sell and what their price tags are. You engage everyone about everything,” said Brian Cashman to Ken Rosenthal recently. The Yankees are said to prefer rental players — their trade deadline activity in recent years backs that up — but they’ve reportedly “sworn off” dealing top prospects for said rentals. We’ll see.

We’ll keep track of any Yankees-related rumors right here throughout the day. The team tends to do things very quietly, almost all of their major moves seem to come out of nowhere, so I can’t promise you many updates. Especially not this early in the week. Either way, keep tabs on everything  and talk about all things trade deadline right here throughout the day.

  • 6:17pm ET: The A’s have traded Tyler Clippard to the Mets for minor league righty Casey Meisner, the teams announced. So scratch Clippard off the list. Meisner was the Amazin’s third round pick last summer. He’s similar to a healthy Austin DeCarr, if you’re wondering.
  • 5:00pm ET: The Dodgers and Rangers are currently seen as the favorites to land Cole Hamels. The Phillies continue to demand either Judge or Severino from the Yankees. [Heyman]
  • 3:36pm ET: The Yankees continue to show interest in Ben Zobrist but they are one of many. The Pirates, Royals, Angels, and Cubs are also trying him to pry him away from Oakland. [Heyman]
  • 12:53pm ET: As expected, the Yankees continue to talk both starters and relievers with other teams, especially righty relievers. The plan could be to acquire a reliever then moving Adam Warren back into the rotation. [Heyman]
  • 11:30am ET: The Yankees have indeed contacted the Phillies about Cole Hamels, which is no surprise. They had a scout at his no-hitter over the weekend. The Phillies asked for either Aaron Judge or Luis Severino, but the Yankees are not planning to move Judge, Severino, Greg Bird, or other top prospects. Philadelphia is also said to be seeking a catcher in any trade. [Ken Rosenthal, Jon Heyman, Jim Salisbury, Buster Olney]
  • In addition to Hamels, the Yankees are keeping tabs on basically every available starting pitcher. That list includes Jeff Samardzija, Ian Kennedy, Yovani Gallardo, and Mat Latos, among others. It remains to see whether the Tigers will cave and make David Price available. [Joel Sherman]
  • The Yankees are a potential landing spot for Tyler Clippard, who could be dealt as soon as today. The club has also been scouting Padres relievers recently, presumably Craig Kimbrel and Joaquin Benoit. Kimbrel is Kimbrel, and the Yanks have shown a bunch of interest in Benoit in recent years. [Susan Slusser, Jon Morosi]
  • The Yankees are looking for an upgrade at second base. There’s not much out there aside from Ben Zobrist, however. They have zero interest in Aaron Hill and could simply recall Rob Refsnyder if they’re unable to make a deal for help at second. [Jon Heyman]
  • Marlins righty Mat Latos has been linked to the Yankees. The Marlins are in sell mode — they’ve already traded ex-closer Steve Cishek to the Cardinals — and have plenty of rental players to offer. Here is our Scouting The Market post on Latos and other Miami players. [Joe Frisaro]
  • Athletics director of player personnel Billy Owens has scouting Double-A Trenton recently. That is definitely not the most prospect-laden team in the system. Scott Kazmir has already been traded, but the Yankees have interest in Zobrist. [Matt Kardos]
  • The Yankees and Reds did have discussions about Johnny Cueto before he was traded to the Royals. Apparently Ivan Nova‘s name came up. Talks didn’t advance very far. [George King]

Reminder: Your trade proposal sucks.

7/27 to 7/30 Series Preview: Texas Rangers

Adrian Beltre Elvis Andrus

The road trip continues with a four-game series in Texas. The Yankees and Rangers have a lot of recent history (2010 ALCS) and not-so-recent history (1996, 1998, 1999 ALDS), which of course means nada this week. The Rangers swept three games from the Yankees in Yankee Stadium back in May in dominating fashion — they outscored them 30-15 in the three games. Yikes!

What Have The Rangers Done Lately?

The Rangers got clobbered by the Angels yesterday but did win two of three in the series. They’ve won four of their last five overall and are 5-4 since the All-Star break. Texas is 47-50 overall with a -28 run differential. They are 7.5 games back of the Astros in the AL West and 4.5 games of the Twins for the second wildcard spot.

Offense & Defense

The Rangers have a bit of an offensive disconnect — they average 4.36 runs per game, which is above the 4.21 AL average, by they also have a 95 wRC+ as a team. Weird. They’re without several players because of injury, including IF Jurickson Profar (shoulder), 1B Kyle Blanks (Achilles), C Carlos Corporan (thumb), and ex-Yankee OF Antoan Richardson (back). Corporan (45 wRC+) could return this series but the other guys are out long-term.

Odor. (Bob Levey/Getty)
Odor. (Bob Levey/Getty)

Rookie skipper Jeff Banister builds his lineup around three left-handed hitters: 1B Prince Fielder (150 wRC+), 1B/DH Mitch Moreland (129 wRC+), and 2B Rougned Odor (124 wRC+). Odor had a miserable start to the season (35 wRC+), got sent to the minors in early-May, returned in mid-June, and has raked since (146 wRC+). Those are the club’s three big bats, and the speedy OF Delino DeShields Jr. (110 wRC+) has done a nice job setting the table.

OF Shin-Soo Choo (95 wRC+) and OF Josh Hamilton (89 wRC+) aren’t having much impact and 3B Adrian Beltre (83 wRC+) is having his worst season since leaving the Mariners. Getting old sucks. SS Elvis Andrus (69 wRC+) and OF Leonys Martin (54 wRC+) offer little at the dish, ditto UTIL Adam Rosales (77 wRC+) and UTIL Ryan Rua (61 wRC+). C Robinson Chirinos (104 wRC+) and C Tomas Telis (48 wRC+) are the catching tandem.

The Rangers have a surprisingly weak defense. Martin is outstanding in center and Beltre is still very good at third, though he’s no longer the elite gloveman he was for most of his career. Odor is very good as well. Andrus has a reputation for strong defense but has slowed down the last year or two. Fielder, Choo, Hamilton, and Moreland are liabilities in the field. Chirinos won’t shut down the running game (24.3% caught stealing rate) and he’s a below-average pitch framer, so says StatCorner.

Pitching Matchups

Monday (8pm ET): RHP Ivan Nova (vs. TEX) vs. LHP Matt Harrison (vs. NYY)
It’s pretty remarkable the 29-year-old Harrison has made it back to the big leagues. He made just six starts the last two years due to ongoing back trouble, including spinal fusion surgery last June that could have ended his career. Harrison has been able to work his way back and this will be his third start off the DL. He threw six scoreless innings last time out after allowing six runs in four innings in his first start. At his peak, Harrison was a big time ground ball pitcher who didn’t walk or strike out many. Now? Who knows. PitchFX says he was sitting in the 85-88 mph range with his sinker in his first two starts after living in the low-90s before his injury. Harrison also throws mid-70s curveballs and changeups right around 80 mph. Previous stats and scouting reports don’t mean too much after an injury like that.

Tuesday (8pm): TBA vs. LHP Martin Perez (vs. NYY)
Like Harrison, Perez returned from major injury not too long ago, though he was out with regular ol’ Tommy John surgery. The 24-year-old will also be making his third start since coming off the DL — Perez allowed three runs in five innings first time out and four runs in six innings last time out. Before getting hurt last year, he had a 4.38 ERA (3.70 FIP) with a great ground ball rate (52.7%) but below-average strikeout (16.9%) and walk (9.2%) rates. Perez has sat in the low-90s with both his two and four-seam fastballs in his first two starts, and in the mid-80s with both his slider and changeup.

As for the Yankees, they’re using a spot sixth starter tomorrow to give the rest of the rotation an extra day of rest. Luis Severino (started Friday) and Bryan Mitchell (started Saturday) are not candidates for this game because they recently started for Triple-A Scranton. Diego Moreno is tomorrow’s scheduled starter for the RailRiders, though he hasn’t been stretched out yet. Chances are we’ll see a bullpen game with Adam Warren and Chris Capuano each throwing 50 pitches or so. I bet Nick Goody will then get sent down Wednesday in favor of a fresh long man, maybe Mitchell, who only threw 65 pitches Saturday. Shouldn’t be a huge deal to bring him back on short rest.

Lewis. (Tom Pennington/Getty)
Lewis. (Tom Pennington/Getty)

Wednesday (8pm ET): RHP Masahiro Tanaka (vs. TEX) vs. RHP Colby Lewis (vs. NYY)
Lewis, 35, made his big injury comeback two years ago. He has a 4.49 ERA (3.82 FIP) in 20 starts and 126.1 innings so far this year. The only thing he does exceptionally well is limit walks (4.8%). His strikeout (18.3%), grounder (35.4%), and homer (1.07 HR/9) rates are all worse than the league average. Lefties (.320 wOBA) have hit him a bit harder than righties (.293 wOBA) this year. An upper-80s fastball is what Lewis uses to set up his mid-80s changeup, low-80s slider, and mid-70s curveball. He uses the slider more than the changeup and curveball combined, hence the platoon split. The Yankees scored five runs in 6.2 innings against Lewis when these teams met in May.

Thursday (8pm ET): RHP Michael Pineda (vs. TEX) vs. RHP Yovani Gallardo (vs. NYY)
The trade deadline is this coming Friday and Gallardo, an impending free agent, is a candidate to be moved, so I guess that means he may not actually start this game. We’ll just have to wait and see. Gallardo, 29, has a 3.19 ERA (3.69 FIP) in 21 starts and 121.1 innings this year with below-average strikeout (16.1%) and walk (8.9%) rates but above-average ground ball (50.1%) and homer (0.59 HR/9) rates. Lefties (.304 wOBA) have hit him harder than righties (.282 wOBA). Gallardo uses his two and four-seamers equally and both sit in the 90-92 mph range. A hard upper-80s slider — it’s almost like a cutter, but the break is bigger — is his main secondary pitch. He’ll also mix in a few mid-70s curveballs and very rarely throws his mid-80s changeup. The Yankees pushed two runs across in six innings against Gallardo a few weeks ago.

I’m not sure who would start Thursday should Gallardo get traded, but LHP Wandy Rodriguez seems like a safe bet, unless, of course, he gets traded as well. Rodriguez was bumped to the bullpen recently when Harrison and Perez returned from the DL.

Tolleson. (Stephen Dunn/Getty)
Tolleson. (Stephen Dunn/Getty)

Bullpen Status
The Rangers have baseball’s worst bullpen with a 4.59 ERA (4.47 FIP), so the old “wait out the starter then go to town on the relievers” strategy will work against this club. Closer RHP Shawn Tolleson (3.19 ERA/3.32 FIP) has been solid and these days RHP Tanner Scheppers (5.45/5.58) and RHP Keone Kela (3.24/2.94) are setting him up. Scheppers has the job out of reputation, Kela out of production.

RHP Anthony Bass (4.35/3.66) is the long man and LHP Sam Freeman (3.32/3.52) is the matchup lefty. RHP Spencer Patton (6.46/6.19) and Wandy (4.22/4.08) round out the bullpen. Ex-Yankee RHP Ross Ohlendorf (3.52/5.67) is out with a groin strain and is expected to be activated this week. Patton figures to go down to Triple-A to clear a roster spot for Rock ‘n Rohlendorf. Bass, Freeman, Patton, Kela, and Wandy all pitched yesterday. Check out our Bullpen Workload page for the status of New York’s bullpen and then check out Lone Star Ball for updates on the Rangers.

(GIF via Buzzfeed)

Yankeemetrics: All roads lead to Target Field (July 24-26)

#ClutchRod (AP Photo)
#ClutchRod (AP Photo)

The Yankees’ winning formula has been to score early and often, and thrash their opponents with lots of homers. The Twins took a page out of the Yankees playbook on Friday night, however, jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning and hitting four home runs in their 10-1 victory.

The nine-run blowout was the Yankees worst loss to the Twins since July 31, 1991 (12-3) and their worst defeat in Minnesota since April 5, 1989 (12-2). It was also the most home runs the Twins have hit against the Yankees in more than 20 years. On August 6, 1994, Kirby Puckett, Kent Hrbek, Pedro Munoz and Shane Mack each hit homers in the Twins 10-4 victory that day.

The Yankees made a lot of loud outs and got 10 hits in the game, but managed just a single run on a sac fly in the ninth inning. It was the first time they scored one or fewer runs despite having double-digit hits since July 10, 2010 vs. the Mariners. In that span, every other major-league team had done that at least once (and the Pirates have done it eight times!).

As magical as this season has been for the Yankees, there’s still been a couple holes in their resume, including a poor record away from the Bronx and a lack of big comebacks. Entering Saturday, the Yankees were 23-25 on the road and the largest deficit they’d overcome in a game was three runs.

They temporarily patched up both of those holes on Saturday night, scoring eight unanswered runs after trailing 5-0 in the third inning to beat the Twins at Target Field.

A-Rod wrote another chapter in his storybook season, hitting three homers, each one bringing the Yankees closer to an improbable victory, and capped off with his dramatic game-tying shot in the top of the ninth inning. Before this outburst, he had never even hit a single homer at Target Field; his 30 at-bats at the ballpark before his solo longball in the fourth inning were his most at any venue he hadn’t gone deep yet in his career.

At the age of 39 years and 363 days, not only did A-Rod become the oldest Yankee ever to hit three homers in a game, he also is the fifth-oldest in major-league history to do it. The only guys older than him were Stan Musial (41 years old), Jason Giambi (40), Reggie Jackson, (40) and Babe Ruth (40).

It was his fifth career three-home run game, one shy of the MLB record held by Johnny Mize and Sammy Sosa, and his third such game with the Yankees. The only other players in franchise history to hit at least three homers in a regular season game three-or-more times are Lou Gehrig (4) and Joe DiMaggio (3).

His third homer knotted the game at 5-5, his sixth game-tying homer in the ninth inning with the franchise. A-Rod and Yogi Berra are the only Yankees in the last 75 years to hit that many game-tying homers in the ninth frame.

Breaking news: the Yankees won a road series! They beat the Twins 7-2 on Sunday to win their first series on the road since sweeping the Mariners in Seattle on June 1-3. If the Yankees were going to break out of their road slump, the most likely choice would have been here at Target Field. They are now 16-5 at the ballpark (which opened in 2010), the best record there by any American League team.

No Yankee starter is pitching better and more consistently than Nathan Eovaldi right now, who turned in his seventh strong outing in a row since getting shelled by the Marlins in mid-June. He’s got a 2.83 ERA in his last seven starts, easily the best among his rotation ‘mates in that span (since June 20). And he is now up to 11 starts this season allowing two runs or fewer, the most among Yankee pitchers.

Chase Headley drove in three of the Yankees’ seven runs with a solo homer in the fifth and a two-run single in the sixth. Before Headley, the last Yankee third baseman with at least three RBIs against the Twins in Minnesota was Robin Ventura on April 18, 2003. Since sitting out three games in the beginning of July with a calf injury, Headley is hitting .359 with 10 RBI in his last 11 games.