Target Field has been friendly to Yanks

If ever there was a time that the Yankees needed to find a soft landing that time is now. They are in the throes of a five-game losing streak as they begin a four-game series against the Twins Monday night at Target Field. The Yankees have had 11 consecutive non-losing season series against Minnesota dating to 2002. They won the season series last year, 4 games to 3.

The Yankees have won 21 of their past 28 regular-season games against the Twins and 27 of their past 34 overall games. The Twins like the Yankees are in fourth place in their division, the American League Central, but have a record that is six games under .500 (36-42). Meanwhile, the fourth-place Yankees of the AL East are still above par for the season with a 42-39 record halfway through the schedule.

The Yankees took two of three games at Target Field in 2012 and have won 10 of their past 13 games there, plus 25 of their past 39 games at Minnesota in regular season play. They have won four straight road season series there and five of their past six.

Monday night’s starter, Andy Pettitte, enters the game undefeated over his past 12 starts against the Twins (regular season and postseason combined) since May 2001 with a 10-0 mark and 2.53 ERA covering 81 2/3 innings. Over his past 17 regular season and postseason starts against the Twins since 1999, Pettitte is 13-1 with a 2.38 ERA in 117 innings and has held Minnesota to three runs or less in all but three of those outings.

There is only a week remaining in the Major League All-Star voting for the July 16 game at Citi Field in Flushing. At this point, Robinson Cano, who has a commanding lead at second base, appears to be the only Yankees player who will be elected to the starting lineup. The Yankees have no players ranked in the top five at any other position with Ichiro Suzuki 15th among the outfielders.

Mariano Rivera will almost certainly be selected for the AL pitching staff. Manager Joe Girardi has expressed hope recently that the league will choose Brett Gardner as one of the outfielders.

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