EditorsNote: Minor fixes throughout
Gary Sanchez homered in consecutive at-bats but the host New York Yankees lost starting pitcher James Paxton to left knee soreness in a 6-3 victory over the Minnesota Twins Friday night at Yankee Stadium.
Sanchez opened the fifth by hitting a 2-1 fastball from Kyle Gibson (2-1) into the left-field seats to give the Yankees a 5-1 lead. Sanchez then homered with two outs in the seventh on a 2-2 fastball from Mike Morin, giving the Yankees catcher 10 home runs this season.
Sanchez recorded his 12th multi-homer game and second this season. According to the Yankees, his 12 multi-homer games in his first 284 games are the second fastest in MLB history, eclipsed by Hall of Famer Ralph Kiner (282 games).
Sanchez’s homers occurred on a night when Paxton became the latest Yankees player to be injured. He exited after the third inning and the Yankees said he was headed for an MRI on Saturday.
Paxton allowed an unearned run and two hits in three innings before exiting. He departed after 64 pitches with the Yankees holding a 2-1 lead.
Six relievers followed after Paxton left the game. Jonathan Holder (2-0) replaced Paxton, pitching two scoreless innings and notching the win per the official scorer.
Zack Britton allowed a two-out, two-run homer to Nelson Cruz in the eighth. Aroldis Chapman pitched a scoreless ninth and recorded his sixth save in seven opportunities.
The Yankees won for the 12th time in 16 games and also beat the Twins for the eighth straight time at home in the regular season. New York is also 13-1 in its last 14 regular-season home meetings with Minnesota since the start of the 2015 season.
The Yankees scored a run in each of the opening two innings off Gibson.
Brett Gardner reached on a three-base error by center fielder Byron Buxton five pitches in and scored on a single by Gleyber Torres.
Luke Voit, who extended his on-base streak to 42 games dating to last season, made it 2-0 with an RBI single before getting thrown out at second trying to stretch the hit into a double.
The Twins made it 2-1 in the third when C.J. Cron lifted a sacrifice fly two batters after Torres booted a potential double-play grounder by Jorge Polanco.
New York extended its lead to 4-1 with two runs in the fourth as Mike Tauchman scored on a wild pitch by Gibson and Gardner drove in a run on a groundout.
Gibson allowed five runs — two earned — on seven hits in five innings. He struck out five.
—Field Level Media