Yanks’ dominance of the Twins fading?

The streak of games in which Yankees starting pitchers allowed three runs or fewer ended at 14 Friday night as Vidal Nuno gave up four runs, all on home runs, by the fourth inning against the Twins in an eventual 6-1 loss.

Vidal gave up a solo home run to Oswaldo Arcia in the second inning. Two innings later, Minnesota went deep twice more on a leadoff blow by Josh Willingham and a two-run shot by Trevor Plouffe that landed in the netting atop Monument Park.

Prior to that, Yankees starters had not allowed more than three runs in a game since May 14, a period covering 83 innings in which they had a combined ERA of 2.82. It was the longest such streak by a Yankees rotation since a 15-gamer in 2009 from June 14 to July 1.

The Yankees at least got some length from Nuno, who lasted two batters into the seventh inning. The long ball has been an issue for the lefthander this year. He has given up nine home runs in 47 2/3 innings.

Curiously, Yankee Stadium has not been kind to Nuno. He is 0-3 with a 5.86 ERA in six career games covering 30 2/3 innings at the Stadium. In five career road starts, Nuno has a 2-0 record with a 1.84 ERA in 29 1/3 innings.

The Yankees failed to generate much of an offense against Twins starter Ricky Nolasco, who entered the game with a 6.12 ERA and winless in five starts since April 24. They scored one run in the third inning on a two-out, RBI double by Jacoby Ellsbury but spent much of the game running themselves out of rallies.

Brian Roberts led off the second inning with a single but was picked off first base and thrown out at second. Brett Gardner, running from second base on a single to right by Derek Jeter in the third, was caught in a rundown between third and the plate and tagged out. In the sixth, Roberts was gunned down again, this time at home trying to score from second base on a two-out single to right by Yangervis Solarte.

The Minnesota lineup included former Yankees infielder Eduardo Nunez as the designated hitter. He had an RBI single off Preston Claiborne in the Twins’ two-run eighth inning. Another former Yankee, pitcher Phil Hughes, will start for the Twins Sunday.

Mark Teixeira returned to the Yankees’ lineup after missing three games because of inflammation in his surgical right wrist and reached base three times on walks but did not advance beyond first base on a quiet night for the Yanks’ offense.

The Yankees’ mastery of the Twins, especially at the Stadium, during this century has faded somewhat. The Yankees have a 31-10 record at the Stadium against Minnesota but are under .500 (6-7) since May 16, 2010. The Yankees won 10 straight home series against the Twins from 2002 through 2011 but lost one series and split the other over the past two seasons. Overall, the Yankee are 26-10 against the Twins since the start of the 2009 season.

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