Holder set the tone and pitched two shutout innings, struck out two batters and received the victory, while Chapman picked up his sixth save of the season.
“It was great [to see the bullpen come through], especially against a team like Minnesota that comes in here swinging the bat so well,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “They have a lot of dangerous guys up and down that lineup. We had to lean on the bullpen tonight. ... It’s not how you draw it up when you have Pax going, but certainly a good win for us.”
Paxton was grateful that the bullpen saved him and held the Twins in check.
“Those guys did great. They saved me big time, being able to come in there and do such a great job,” Paxton said. “Everyone was fantastic today.”
It was a game that saw Ottavino enter the game earlier than expected. He usually enters a game in the seventh or eighth inning. But he came in the top of the sixth and dominated, striking out Cruz and C.J. Cron. Ottavino also induced Marwin Gonzalez to ground out to first baseman Luke Voit.
After the game, Ottavino’s mind was on the health of Paxton.
“Obviously, we can’t afford to lose him for too long. But at this point, I think we are kind of used to it,” Ottavino said.
Gary supplies the power
In the meantime, Gary Sánchez was the basher on this night, collecting three hits and hitting two monster home runs. Both homers were solo shots. Sanchez now has 12 multi-homer games in 284 games, becoming the second-fastest player in Major League history to reach 12 multi-homer games.
“[Gary] is a gifted offensive player. It’s not surprising,” Boone said. “When you see the kind of swing that he has and the way he is able to impact the ball, it’s something that he is capable of. That’s why we expect a lot of him and demand a lot of him because we know he is capable of those kind of things. His power has been big for us this year.”
Since coming off the injured list on April 24, Sanchez has clubbed four home runs with nine RBIs.
“My timing was off after the IL. It’s a matter of making a adjustments. I’m trying to stay away at swinging at bad pitches,” Sanchez said.