MINNEAPOLIS — Brandon Kintzler took the mound for the ninth inning, and in moments, the skies opened and a deluge came down, leaving Minnesota's All-Star closer with only one option.
"I was like, 'Good God, let's hurry up,'" Kintzler said. "I threw it down the middle and said, 'Let's see what happens.'"
Eddie Rosario had two RBI doubles and Eduardo Escobar added the go-ahead, pinch-hit single in the eighth inning to help the Twins to a 4-2 victory over the New York Yankees on Monday night.
Adalberto Mejia gave up one run and struck out four in 5 1/3 innings for the Twins, who were tied 2-2 when Escobar delivered a base hit to left field off left-hander Caleb Smith (0-1). Rosario followed with his second double of the game, and Kintzler picked up his 26th save as light rain turned into a steady downpour at Target Field.
"It's tough," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "It was really coming down there. It's hard to keep your hand dry and keep a grip on the ball."
Yankees star slugger Aaron Judge went 0 for 3 with an intentional walk and is 1 for 21 since his electric performance in the All-Star Home Run Derby.
Garrett Cooper had three hits, including two doubles, and fellow rookie Clint Frazier also had two doubles for New York.
The Yankees didn't arrive in the Twin Cities until about 4 a.m. after a marathon weekend in Boston. The AL East rivals played 34 innings overs two days — a 16-inning game on Saturday that lasted nearly six hours followed by a doubleheader Sunday — that stretched the Yankees pitching staff to its limits.
Bryan Mitchell was brought up from Triple-A for his first start of the season and gave up two runs — one earned — and six hits in five innings. But he dropped a soft toss from Cooper at first base in the third inning, a fielding error that allowed a run to score.
Taylor Rogers (5-1) pitched 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief for the win.
Judge has been in a slump at the plate, but shined in other areas Monday night.
He hustled from first to third on a soft single to centre field by Matt Holliday in the fourth inning and made one of the plays of the game in the third inning. The Twins had the bases loaded and nobody out for Miguel Sano, who hit a rocket to Judge in right field, and the former tight end looked like a quarterback with a one-hop throw home that got Dozier and saved a run.
Judge's throw home was clocked at 97.7 mph by MLB's Statcast.
The game featured a Home Run Derby rematch between Judge and Sano, two of the best young sluggers in the game. Judge hit 47 homers in three rounds of the derby in Miami, beating Sano in the final round.
But the long-ball contest did not continue on Monday night. Sano went 1 for 3 with a single and a walk.
The Yankees left-hander gave up two runs on four hits and struck out five in three innings of relief in his big league debut.
"I was definitely nervous a little bit," Smith said. "I just tried to keep my composure. It's a great experience. A feeling like nothing else."
Yankees: RHP Michael Pineda is scheduled to have Tommy John surgery on Tuesday. ... 1B Greg Bird will also have surgery on his right ankle Tuesday and will miss at least six weeks.
Twins: LHP Hector Santiago played catch Monday and will throw bullpens Tuesday and Friday as he continues to work his way back from upper thoracic back pain that put him on the disabled list on July 3.
Yankees: RHP Luis Cessa (0-3, 4.18) will start Game 2 of the series. The Yankees will recall him from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to make the start for the strapped rotation. It will be his third stint with the Yankees this season.
Twins: RHP Bartolo Colon will make his first start for the Twins since being signed on July 7. The 44-year-old Colon went 2-8 with an 8.14 ERA for the Braves this season. Kennys Vargas was optioned to Triple-A Rochester after the game to make room for Colon.
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