The Yanks scored first in the top of the second, receiving an RBI groundout from Nick Swisher to score Hideki Matsui.
Later in the second, Brett Gardner added two runs with a single to score Robinson Cano and Jorge Posada.
“It’s big,” Gardner told the YES Network after the game.
“We’re finding different ways to score without hitting home runs, we’re getting guys on base, and we have to finish the first half right.”
The Twins got offensive contributions from Joe Mauer, who smashed his 15th homer of the year in the bottom of the seventh by hitting a solo shot to left field.
Mauer also added a run with an RBI double in the bottom of the third, and Yankee starter A.J. Burnett gave the Twins a gift in the third, throwing a wild pitch that allowed Denard Span to score.
Despite tossing three wild pitches in the game, Burnett went 6.1 innings, gave up two runs on seven hits, walked four, and struck out two. He also made a stellar play on the mound, picking off Span at second base in the bottom of the first.
“It was a tough performance by him, one of the toughest all year,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of Burnett’s outing.
“He was pulling some fast balls and when the ball is going 95 miles an hour it’s hard for the catcher to adjust.”
Burnett picked up his eighth win of the year. He has a total of 100 strikeouts to this point, and now holds an 8-4 record.
“I didn’t have a hook all game and my control was off, but I was able to regroup,” Burnett said to the press.
“I got upset a couple times because of poor execution, but I was able to correct it.”
Anthony Swarzak, who started in place of the ailing Glen Perkins, took the loss and is now 2-3 this season.
The tandem of the “Phil-thies,” Phil Coke and Phil Hughes, each recorded a hold in relief while Mariano Rivera nailed down save number 22 this season.
The Yankees have now won six in a row against the Twin Cities this year, and are winners of 12 out of their last 14 games.
Tomorrow afternoon, the Yankees will look for their seventh win in a row against Minnesota this year, along with a series sweep.
Alfredo Aceves (5-1, 2.03 ERA) will come out of the bullpen to start in place of the injured Chien-Ming Wang, and is going to be limited to 65 pitches.
Aceves will be opposed by 25-year-old left hander Francisco Liriano (4-8, 5.49 ERA).