Bird's two homers lift Yankees over Twins

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 19, 2015 6:55 PM

(The Sports Xchange) - Rookie first baseman Greg Bird hit two, two-run home runs while right-hander Nathan Eovaldi took a perfect game into the sixth inning as the New York Yankees beat the Minnesota Twins 4-3 on Wednesday.

Bird became the third Yankee since 1914 with a multi-home-run game within his first five major-league games.

"It was a good day," said Bird, who is filling in for the injured Mark Teixeira. "We're just trying to win games here.

"Anything I can do to help. That's all I'm trying to do, nothing more, nothing less."

Bird's performance helped the Yankees win for the sixth time in seven games since last Thursday after he was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and made his debut in an 8-6 win at Cleveland.

Bird connected on a 0-1 changeup off Ervin Santana (2-4) in the fourth inning and sent it to the second deck in right field.

Two innings later, Bird drove a 1-0 fastball into the Yankees' bullpen beyond the center field wall.

The second home run earned the 22-year-old a curtain call from the 38,086 fans at Yankee Stadium after he was urged out off the dugout by right fielder Carlos Beltran.

Bird's first career home run was actually a subplot at the time because Eovaldi (13-2) retired the first 12 hitters on 56 pitches.

He retired four more before losing his perfect-game bid with one out in the sixth when catcher Chris Herrmann blooped a 101 mph fastball behind third baseman Chase Headley and into shallow left field.

"It came in so fast," Herrmann said of the pitch that he managed to connect with. "By the time I swung, I was starting my swing, the ball was already in the catcher's glove, it seems like."

Herrmann's single actually began a three-run inning for Minnesota with Joe Mauer driving in two runs, while Trevor Plouffe drove in another with a single.

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"I felt really good today," Eovaldi said after allowing three runs and four hits in seven innings.

"I felt locked in from the first pitch. I'm aware of it but just try to go out there and stay aggressive and keep attacking the hitters."

Santana lost his fourth successive decision and allowed the two home runs among seven hits in 7-2/3 innings.

"To me, it was only one bad pitch. It was the changeup, that's it," Santana said of Bird's first homer.

"The other one was a very good pitch. He hit it very good. I know probably in another park, that's a double.

"Here, it's a joke."

(Compiled by Greg Stutchbury)