There's no crying in baseball, and rather than sit around and mope about having likely lost Jorge Posada for the year, the Yankees went out and put a whuppin' on the Twins, winning the game in this series that they seemed least likely to win on paper, 12-4.
Sidney Ponson wasn't great, but got more groundballs (9) than flyballs (6) and held the Twins to three runs over 5 2/3 innings thanks to a sixth-inning assist from Edwar Ramirez. That left room for the offense to do it's thing. Bobby Abreu and Alex Rodriguez got things going with two outs in the bottom of the first with a single and a bomb into the Yankee bullpen. Ponson promptly gave those two runs back, but in the bottom of the second the Yankees blew things open with a barrage of singles and some help from some sloppy Twins defense.
The rally got started with one out when Twins shortstop Brendan Harris made an unnecessary dive to stop a Melky Cabrera grounder to the left of second base and then couldn't get a handle on the ball to make the throw, allowing Cabrera to reach (headfirst, to the aggravation of many) with an infield single. Legitimate singles by Jose Molina and Brett Gardner then loaded the bases. Johnny Damon followed by hitting a potential double-play ball to second, but Alexi Casilla, perhaps thinking the ball was a bit to slow to turn two, threw home, short-hopping catcher Joe Mauer, and allowing all the runners to advance safely. A single by Derek Jeter plated another run, and Bobby Abreu beat the relay on another possible double play to make it 5-2 Yankees. Alex Rodriguez then singled off the glove of third baseman Brian Buscher to push it to 6-2 and drive Twins starter Nick Blackburn (unfairly, in my opinion) from the game.
After reliever Boof Bonser struck out Jason Giambi to end the rally and Sidney Ponson retired the Twins in order, Robinson Cano led off the bottom of the third by wrapping a towering home run around the right field foul pole and well into the upper deck to make it 7-2. Melky Cabrera then reached on his second infield single in as many at-bats (this one off Bonser's ankle) and was later plated by a Johnny Damon flare into no-man's land in shallow left that hopped into the stands for a ground-rule double.
Things were quite for a while after that. The Twins picked up their third run in the fifth when Jason Kubel followed what looked like a rally-killing double play with an RBI single. The Yanks then went back to work in the sixth against reliever Craig Breslow. Derek Jeter led off with an opposite-field home run into the front rows of section 37 of the right-field bleachers. Bobby Abreu then singled, moved to second on a balk that initially looked like a successful pickoff, then moved to third and scored on a pair of wild pitches. The latter moved Alex Rodriguez, who had walked on the first, to second where he was able to score on a Cano single. The Yanks made it an even dozen in the eighth and the Twins picked up a run against LaTroy Hawkins (who could lose his bullpen spot to Brian Bruney by the end of the week) in the ninth.
With Posada back on the DL, Jose Molina went 3 for 4 with a run scored. In his first game off the DL, Johnny Damon went 1 for 4 with that flared RBI double and a run scored. Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrera stayed hot, going a combined 4 for 10 (though neither of Melky's two hits left the infield, while Cano's homer nearly left the earth's gravitational pull). Jeter, Abreu, and Rodriguez went a combined 6 for 12 with a pair of homers and 6 RBIs. Even Brett Gardner got a hit (1 for 4). Only Jason Giambi failed to pick up a safety, though he did walk. Giambi is 2 for 7 since the break, but has six walks in that span for a .615 on-base percentage.
The Yankees are now just a game behind the Twins for second place in the Wild Card chase, and stand a decent chance of sweeping their way into Boston this weekend. Not bad considering how the evening began.