Mariano Rivera made history with his 602nd career save and Curtis Granderson hit his 41st homer as the New York Yankees topped the visiting Minnesota Twins, 6-4, on Monday afternoon.
Rivera, who tied Trevor Hoffman for first place all-time with his 601st save on Saturday in Toronto, got to break the record in front of the New York fans on Monday. The right-handed cutter master worked a perfect ninth, striking out Chris Parmelee on three pitches to end the game.
Rivera almost did not have a save opportunity to work with but A.J. Burnett struggled once again, failing to make it out of the fifth inning while allowing four runs on eight hits.
That left the win for Corey Wade (6-1), who worked 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief to help the Yankees expand their lead in the American League East to five games over Boston, and reduce their magic number to clinch a playoff berth to four.
The Red Sox split a doubleheader with Baltimore on Monday.
Granderson gave the Yankees the early lead, belting a two-run shot in the first inning off lefthander Scott Diamond (1-5). New York added a run in the second on Russell Martin’s RBI single and two more in the third when Robinson Cano drove an RBI triple to center and scored on Nick Swisher’s single.
The Twins made it almost all the way back, pulling to within 5-4 in the fifth, but could not get over the hump against the Yankees bullpen.
Minnesota fell to 2-12 all-time at the new Yankee Stadium.