Minneapolis, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - Jacoby Ellsbury belted a three-run homer and finished with four RBI, as the New York Yankees survived after building a sizeable lead to beat the Minnesota Twins 9-7 at Target Field.
The Yankees led 9-0 after the top of the fourth, but the Twins mounted a comeback and had the winning run at the plate in the bottom of the ninth.
New York closer David Robertson gave up three hits, the last a two-out single by Oswaldo Arcia that scored Eduardo Nunez to trim the deficit to two. Robertson, however, got Kurt Suzuki to hit into a fielder's choice for the final out, securing his 21st save of the season.
Derek Jeter had three hits and knocked in two runs for the Yankees, who took three of four in the series.
New York starter Hiroki Kuroda (6-6) cruised through the first three innings, but had a hiccup in the fourth, allowing four runs. He gave up seven hits and walked two in 5 2/3 innings.
"He had the one inning that was a little bit shaky," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said about Kuroda.
Chris Colabello hit a two-run homer and Trevor Plouffe added a solo shot for the Twins.
It was a brief outing for Minnesota starter Ricky Nolasco (5-7), who was tagged for six runs on seven hits in two innings.
"They hit everything (Nolasco) threw up there. Probably talk to him about it and find out what his thoughts were, but we got to do better than that," said Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire.
Brett Gardner opened the game with a walk and advanced to second on a Jeter single before scoring on Mark Teixeira's one-out base hit to right. Teixeira was then gunned down at the plate attempting to score along with Jeter on Brian McCann's double off the wall in right-center field.
The Yankees scored four runs in the second, highlighted by Ellsbury's no- doubter to right, and added three more in the fourth to go up 9-0.
Jeter knocked in Ichiro Suzuki with a single, Kelly Johnson scored on a fielder's choice and Ellsbury scored on an Anthony Swarzak balk.
Kuroda hit a rough patch in the fourth and his throwing error after fielding a slow roller allowed the first Minnesota run to score.
Consecutive two-out doubles by Kurt Suzuki and Plouffe produced a run, and Colabello followed with a blast to left-center field.
The Twins continued to chip away at the deficit.
Chris Parmelee had an RBI groundout in the seventh before Plouffe homered in the eighth.
Minnesota threatened to do more damage, but Arcia was caught looking at strike three to end the seventh with men on the corners.